July 8, 2014 | Issue 284
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The DSF Group Buys Avalon Danvers 
In Metro Boston For $108.5 Million
Avalon Danvers sold for $108.5 million, which is the highest price recorded for a single-property multifamily transaction this year.

DANVERS, MASS. -- The DSF Group, a Waltham, Mass.-based real estate investment and development firm, has purchased Avalon Danvers for $108.5 million, or $250,500 per unit. The sales price is the highest price recorded for a single-property multifamily transaction in Massachusetts so far this year, and is the single-largest transaction that the Southern Essex County Registry of Deeds has ever recorded.


The DSF Group purchased the 433-unit asset from AvalonBay Communities Inc., a publicly traded real estate investment trust (REIT) based in Arlington, Va., that develops, manages and acquires multifamily properties.


Institutional Property Advisors (IPA), a brokerage division of commercial real estate services firm Marcus & Millichap, has arranged the sale of Avalon Danvers. IPA Boston executive director Richard Robinson, along with associate directors Philip Lamere and Jennifer Athas, brokered the sale.


"Avalon provided us with a unique opportunity to identify the right investor for this extraordinary asset," says Robinson. "Our long experience in the marketplace keeps us prepared to provide clients with the data they need to make informed investment decisions and close transactions quickly. These two abilities proved to be key elements in the disposition of Avalon Danvers."


As part of the sale, the asset will be renamed Halstead Danvers, according to The Boston Globe. Halstead is DSF Group's signature brand.


Located approximately 20 miles north of downtown Boston, Avalon Danvers is a remodeled 19th Century hospital that features period architecture and a mix of fully renovated brick buildings and new construction. Converted to apartments in 2006, the property is located on 36.7 acres at 1101 Kirkbridge Drive near U.S. Route 1 and Interstate 95.


Apartments at Avalon Danvers feature generous closet space, gourmet kitchens with contemporary cabinetry and high-end appliances, washers and dryers, sustainable plumbing fixtures and HVAC equipment, with most units offering private balconies and/or patios. Community amenities include an outdoor swimming pool, an indoor basketball court, a fitness center with children's playroom, a social lounge with a billiards table and a landscaped barbecue and picnic area.


"The Avalon Danvers sales price is proof of the strong appetite institutional investors have for well-located suburban multifamily properties north of Boston," says Lamere of IPA Boston.


As of March 31, 2014, AvalonBay Communities owned or held a direct or indirect ownership interest in 276 apartment communities containing 82,374 apartment homes in 12 states and Washington, D.C., of which 31 communities were under construction and five communities were under reconstruction.


Since 2000, the DSF Group has invested more than $2.5 billion in 5 million square feet of commercial real estate, primarily located in the Northeast between Washington, D.C. and Boston.


-- John Nelson


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Skanska USA Builds 150,695 SF Transit Facility In Worcester, Mass.

Construction of the 150,695-square-foot Worcester Regional Transit Authority facility is slated to cost $60 million.

WORCESTER, MASS. -- Skanska USA has signed a contract to build a maintenance and operations facility for Worcester Regional Transit Authority. The 150,695-square-foot building will include administrative offices, a public meeting space, operations dispatching, bus storage, maintenance shops and additional parking. Construction has begun on the $60 million project and substantial completion is expected in first quarter 2016.


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Forest City Closes $350 Million In Financing For Mixed-Use Property 


YONKERS, N.Y. -- Forest City Enterprises has closed on a three-year, $350 million bridge financing for the company's Westchester's Ridge Hill retail center in Yonkers. The 1.3 million-square-foot regional shopping, dining and entertainment destination is home to Lord & Taylor, Whole Foods Market, National Amusements Showcase Cinema de Lux, LEGOLAND Discovery Center, Apple, REI, UNIQLO and Dick's Sporting Goods, among others. Additionally, the property offers 160,000 square feet of office space, which is anchored by WESTMED Medical Group. The refinancing, which was provided by Morgan Stanley Bank, was led by Forest City Ratner Companies, Forest City's New York subsidiary, which manages the mixed-use property.


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BLT Acquires 372,207 SF Office Park For $130 Million In Westport
The 372,207-square-foot property is currently occupied by Terex, Bridgewater Associates, Morgan Stanley and RBC, among others.

WESTPORT, CONN. -- Building and Land Technology (BLT) has acquired Nyala Farms Corporate Center in Westport for $130 million. Situated on 53 acres at 60 Nyala Farms Road, the property offers 372,207 square feet of Class A office space. The office park is currently home to Terex, Bridgewater Associates, Morgan Stanley and RBC, among others. With this acquisition, BLT now owns more than 5 million square feet of office space in Connecticut.


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Vision Real Estate Partners Acquires 218,000 SF Office Campus

The buyer plans to invest $15 million to reposition and rebrand the Montville Corporate Campus into a mixed-use development.

MONTVILLE, N.J. -- Vision Real Estate Partners (VREP) has acquired Montville Corporate Campus located at 340-342 Changebridge Road in Montville from Bayer Pharmaceuticals. Situated on 27 acres within a gated site, the 218,000-square-foot campus currently comprises two three-story travertine marble office buildings. VREP plans to rebrand the property and invest nearly $15 million to reposition the buildings for single- or multi-tenant occupancy. The firm also plans to redevelop the campus into a mixed-use live/work/play environment. The acquisition ties to VREP's role as developer of Bayer Healthcare's new 94-acre, 675,000-square-foot East Coast Headquarters in Whippany, N.J. As part of VREP's sale of that site to Bayer in 2012, the firm retained the option to purchase Montville Corporate Campus. Jones Lang LaSalle's Capital Markets Group negotiated the multimillion-dollar off-market transaction.


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Keystone, Mack-Cali Acquire Office Complex For $45.4 Million


MORRIS TOWNSHIP, N.J. -- Keystone Property Group and Mack-Cali, through a joint venture, has acquired 412 Mt. Kemble Avenue in Morris Township for $45.4 million. Located in Morris County's corporate corridor, the asset comprises three three-story buildings offering 475,100 square feet of office space. The property offers a variety of tenant amenities, including a fitness center, café, executive parking garage and dual power feeds. Earlier this year, the companies entered into agreements to form various joint ventures to acquire the property as part of a larger portfolio of office properties that Mack-Cali owns throughout Northern New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.


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Gramercy Property Takes R&D/Flex Facility For $28.4 Million 


MALVERN, PA. -- Gramercy Property Trust has purchased an R&D/flex facility located in Malvern for $28.4 million in an all-cash transaction. The 191,000-square-foot facility is 100 percent leased through March 2030 to a leading healthcare diagnostics company. Year one net operating income is approximately $2.1 million (7.5 percent initial cap rate; 8.7 percent annualized straight-line cap rate) with annual rent escalations throughout the lease term.


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GFI Brokers 16-Unit Multifamily Building Sale In Manhattan's Sugar Hill  
The 16-unit  apartment building sold for $2.34 million or $146,000 per unit.


NEW YORK CITY -- GFI Realty Services has brokered the sale of 375 Edgecombe Avenue, a five-story walk-up apartment building in Manhattan's Sugar Hill neighborhood. A local investor purchased the property for $2.34 million or $146,000 per unit, which translates to 10 times rent roll. Built in 1946, the 12,905-square-foot building features 16 units and is within walking distance to retail, restaurants and the 145th Street and 155th Street subway stations. Daniel Shragaei of GFI represented the seller, a local investor, and Gavin Bolsom, also of GFI, represented the buyer in the transaction.


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HREC Arranges 198-Room Sheraton Hotel Sale In Southeast Pennsylvania 
Located in southeast Pennsylvania, the 198-room Sheraton Great Valley serves the Exxon-Frazer-Malvern market.

FRAZER, PA. -- HREC Investment Advisors has arranged the sale of Sheraton Great Valley in Frazer. The 198-room full-service hotel is located in the Exxon-Frazer-Malvern market and is centrally located at the crossroads of U.S. 202 and Route 30.  The buyer plans to maintain the property's premier position after a comprehensive renovation. Ketan Patel, Geoff Davis and Scott Stephens of HREC represented the seller in the transaction. Terms of the sale were not released.


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NorthMarq Completes $3.3 Million Retail Property Refinancing 

The 14,644-square-foot retail property is located at 39-24 104th St. and 103-19 Roosevelt Ave. in Corona, N.Y.
CORONA, N.Y. -- NorthMarq Capital has arranged $3.3 million in refinancing for a 14,644-square-foot retail property located at 39-24 104th St. and 103-19 Roosevelt Ave. in Corona. The 10-year loan has a 30-year amortization schedule. Charles Costsalas of NorthMarq's New York metro office negotiated the transaction for the borrower, Permessa Holding Co., through NorthMarq's relationship with a credit union.
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TerraCRG Arranges $2.55 Million Bushwick Mixed-Use Building Sale

The 5,906-square-foot building features five apartment units.
NEW YORK CITY -- TerraCRG has arranged the sale of 65 Irving Avenue in Brooklyn's Bushwick neighborhood. The property sold for $2.55 million, which equals $432 per square foot or $425,000 per unit. Located between Starr and Troutman streets, the 5,906-square-foot four-story building features five free-market residential apartments -- four three-bedroom units and one studio unit --and 1,500 square feet of renovated ground-floor commercial space. Matthew Cosentino, Eric Satanovsky and Robert McDonald of TerraCRG represented the seller.
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CBRE|The Boulos Company Brokers Two Sales in Maine

SOUTH PORTLAND AND WESTBROOK, MAINE -- CBRE|The Boulos Company has arranged the sale of two properties in Portland. In the first transaction, EPS Properties LLC purchased an 8,000-square-foot office building, located at 235 Gannett Dr. in South Portland, from Timm Properties LLC for an undisclosed price. Dan Greenstein and Greg Boulos of CBRE|The Boulos Company handled the transaction. 
In the second deal, Mountain View LLC sold the 5,846-square-foot former Hay's Funeral Home, located at 795 Main St. in Westbrook, to a local investor. The buyer plans to renovate the building and convert it apartments. Nate Stevens of CBRE|The Boulos Company arranged the transaction.
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Bruce Haeussler Joins River Drive Construction As Project Manager


ELMWOOD PARK, N.J. -- Bruce Haeussler has joined Elmwood Park-based River Drive Construction as a project manager. Previously, Haeussler served as vice president of operations for Eastern Building Group. A 29-year veteran of the construction industry, he has also held positions with Widewaters Construction, BBL/Bette & Cring Construction, DiTech Corp, Balcor/American Express and Graham Associates. Haeussler is a graduate of Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.


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Eckman Construction Promotes 
Preston Hunter to Vice President 

Preston Hunter



BEDFORD, N.H. -- Eckman Construction has promoted Preston Hunter to vice president of the Bedford-based company. Hunter has been with Eckman since 2005 and most recently served as the company's director of business and client relations. In his new role, Hunter will continue to be the main point of contact for all business development activities and will serve as the lead for the company's client relations. Additionally, he will be involved with projects from inception to completion, advising clients and working with team members to deliver high-quality results. 



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River Drive Construction Hires 
Kent Juhlin As Project Manager 

ELMWOOD PARK, N.J. -- Elmwood Park-based River Drive Construction has hired Kent Juhlin as a project manager. Prior to joining River Drive, Juhlin served as a project manager for Conelle Construction, where he oversaw the construction of 530 Park Avenue, a 21-unit luxury condominium conversion in Upper Manhattan. As a 14-year veteran of the construction industry, he has held positions with Johnson Controls, Prospect Capital Group and Reckson Associates Realty Corp. Juhlin attend school at Satellite Technical School in Paramus, N.J., and Villanova University in Philadelphia.

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Upcoming Events

Certified Buyer Representative Course

Overview: Sponsored by REBNY, the two-day course is for real estate professionals looking to obtain CBR certification or continuing education credits.
When: August 12-13, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 
Where: REBNY Mendik Education Center, 570 Lexington Ave. (Lower Level), NYC

InterFace Net Lease

Overview: The agenda will cover investment, development and financing trends and discuss market conditions in the NNN and sale/leaseback space.
When: September 17 
Where: New York Bar Association
(Cocktail reception on Sept. 16 at The Terrace Club)

Certified Negotiation Expert Course

Overview: Sponsored by REBNY, the two-day course is for real estate professionals looking to obtain CNE certification or continuing education credits.
When: September 29-30, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 
Where: REBNY Mendik Education Center, 570 Lexington Ave. (Lower Level), NYC

2014 ULI Fall Meeting

Overview: Urban Land Institute's fall meeting includes keynote speakers: Jamie Dimon (JPMorgan Chase & Co.), Walter Isaacson (Aspen Institute), Jennifer Lawson (MakerBot) and Vincent Stanley (Patagonia).
When: October 21-23 
Where: Javits Convention Center, NYC


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Matt Valley, Editorial Director 

 Northeast Real Estate Business

 France Media, Inc.





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