Gebroe-Hammer Associates Arranges Sale of 386 Units for $8.5 Million in Chester, PA

Top Quote Court-Approved Portfolio Sale Presents Buyer with Substantial Upside Potential. End Quote
  • Philadelphia, PA-NJ (1888PressRelease) July 22, 2011 - In one of suburban Philadelphia's most notable court-approved multi-family portfolio sales, Gebroe-Hammer Associates has arranged the $8.5 million disposition of 386 units in Chester, Pa. The brokerage team of Joseph Brecher, executive vice president, and Sales Associate Eli Kessler spearheaded the sale of the three distressed apartment complexes.

    "Because of a simultaneous receivership and note sale, the condition of these properties and involvement of the various legal and financial entities, this transaction was highly complex," explained Brecher. "The private buyer, who already owns several properties in the Chester area, has a strong sense of what is required to bring each complex up to competitive market standards and rents."

    According to Kessler, the new owner has already begun to implement an aggressive capital improvement and renovation project involving upgrades to the apartments and common areas. "The private buyer was ultimately able to secure financing because of proven management skills in turnaround properties," he said. Gebroe-Hammer reports average area market rents range from $575 for efficiencies, to $675 for one-bedroom units and $775 for two bedrooms.

    The largest of the three properties is St. James Gardens, a nine-building, 228-unit, two-story garden apartment complex at 314 East 224th St. in Chester. Located on a self-contained cul-de-sac and consisting of 12 efficiencies, 136 one-bedroom and 80 two-bedroom units, the complex has been a popular housing option for students of nearby Widener University and Swarthmore College. Renovation plans include new floors, kitchens, baths, cabinets and heating controls.

    Renshaw Terrace Apartments, at 1300 Renshaw Rd., is a three-building, 78-unit garden-apartment complex with intercom access. The property features 62 one-bedroom and 14 two-bedroom units, as well as one efficiency and one office unit. All are slated for upgraded common areas, kitchens and baths and new roofs.

    Willow Gardens, situated at 1101 Dorian Dr., rounds out the portfolio sale. The seven-building, two-story, 80-unit garden complex features brick-aluminum exteriors and new roofs. Each building has 12 apartments with semi-private entrances. All of the complexes include on-site parking and on-premises laundry facilities.

    Gebroe-Hammer possesses more than 36 years experience in distressed multi-family property sales. Just last year, the Livingston, N.J.-based firm was a leader in these types of transactions, closing more than 25 bank-note sales and Sec. 363 Bankruptcy sales on behalf of several prominent lending institutions and debtors-in-possession.

    "This portfolio acquisition is an example of a unique opportunity in the current market, where financially stable buyers are able to capitalize on under-performing, bank-owned properties to add value over the long term," said Ken Uranowitz, managing director. "Gebroe-Hammer's well-known reputation in the banking industry and existing business relationships with all of the involved parties were instrumental to completing this transaction in a timely and amenable manner."

    Legal counsel was provided by Richard A. O'Halloran, Esq., of Burns White LLC, of West Conshohocken, Pa., representing the seller, and Yaron Kornblum, Esq., of Rivkin Radler LLP, of Uniondale, N.Y., representing the buyer.

    Established in 1975 by industry icons Mel Gebroe, chairman, and the late Morris Hammer, Gebroe-Hammer Associates specializes in multi-family, retail and office property investment sales throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. Widely recognized for its consistent sales performance, the firm is an eight-time CoStar Power Broker.

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