Rising residential rents are pushing tenants ever further out from the center of the city, and at the same time fanning the interest of investors in buying properties in those emerging areas.
Buyers will now have such an opportunity in Washington Heights, a fast-gentrifying section of upper Manhattan. There, a portfolio of five apartment buildings has hit the market with an asking price of around $32 million, nearly double what its owners paid for the properties during the recession just four years ago.
The buildings—650 W. 173rd St.; 636, 642, and 643 W. 172nd St.; and 633 W. 171st St.—have a total of 146 apartments, most of which are rent stabilized. The buildings are walk-ups with more than 80,000 square feet of air rights, allowing the possibility of future expansion—though that is a far off possibility because prices in the neighborhood do not currently justify the cost of such construction.
Robert Shapiro, a broker with Massey Knakal who is handling the sale of the package, said the dramatic hike in value reflects the growing belief that the neighborhood will net higher rents in the coming years as gentrification continues there.
“This is the best market in upper Manhattan that I have seen in 13 years, even better than the boom in 2007,” Mr. Shapiro said. “People are paying the highest prices ever here because they believe this area has a lot more upside.”
Mr. Shapiro has sold several portfolios in Washington Heights in recent months including a 10-building package owned by Yeshiva University to the prominent Manhattan and Brooklyn owner Ruby Schron for $72 million.
According to property records, investors John Petras and George Michelis own the properties.
This article was originally published in Crain’s and can be found HERE.