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Gaia Real Estate, Harel Sell East Orange Multifamily for $39.3M

SDK Realty Corp Acquires 273-Unit Gaia Park View
November 21, 2012
An affiliate of SDK Realty Corp. has acquired the Gaia Park View hi-rise at 320 S. Harrison St. in East Orange, NJ for $39.275 million, or about $144,000 per unit, from a joint venture of Gaia Real Estate Company and Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd.

The 273-unit, 20-story, 337,455-square-foot multifamily building was designed by Morris Lapidus in 1960 on 3.8 acres in the Urban Essex County submarket. It features a pool, fitness center, valet and doorman service, among other class A amenities. The unit mix includes 31 one-bedroom, 159 two-bedroom, and 83 three-bedroom units with asking rents between $995 and $2,375 per month. Occupancy was approximately 98 percent at the time of sale.

The property is located just one block from Orange Park and near to Seton Hall University, three area hospitals, an NJT station, and Midtown Manhattan. Upper floors offer balconied views of the Manhattan skyline. The building draws on New Jersey's strong employer base in the financial and health care sectors.

Gaia and Harel acquired the asset in September 2010 for just $29.9 million, according to CoStar data. At the time, Gaia rebranded the building and implemented a major capital improvement program that included the conversion of under-utilized commercial space to residential units, as well as common area, lobby and elevator improvements, additional parking spaces, and substantial unit renovations. Gaia saw operating profit at the property increase by nearly 20 percent in the last two years.

"We are pleased to generate great returns to our investors by identifying this unique added-value opportunity and managing the capital improvement project and disposition," said Gaia Managing Partners Amir Yerushalmi and Danny Fishman, who said the building was originally purchased by Gaia with $9 million in total equity and a loan from Harel.

New York-based Gaia Real Estate is a real estate and investment management company with a portfolio of $1 billion in assets with more than 12,000 residential apartments, office buildings and retail properties. Harel is one of Israel's largest insurance and finance groups with a market share of 18 percent.

Jose Cruz, Kevin O'Hearn, Jeffrey Julien, and Andrew Scandalios with HFF brokered the sale.

Please see CoStar COMPS #2602432 for additional information on this transaction.

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