Real Estate Roundup: 10-Building Package Sells for $16.2 M & Loft Living at a Former Art Deco Police Precinct

10-Building Package Sells for $12.6 Million

As 2010 drew to a close, commercial real estate brokerage firm Gebroe-Hammer Associates put together the largest multi-family transaction of the year in Jersey City, brokering Morningside Ridge LLC’s sale of a 10-building, 306-unit portfolio in Journal Square and Greenville to a local private investor.

The apartments were 93 percent occupied at the time of the sale, and the buildings sold include 150 and 154-156 Belmont Ave.; 546 Bergen Ave. (pictured at right); 201 Claremont Ave.; 164 Clinton Ave.; 9, 11-13 and 15-21 Gifford Ave.; 35 Kensington Ave.; and 58 Van Reypen St.

According to a Gebroe-Hammer release, tenants may see their rents rise as a result of the deal, with sales associate Nicholas Nicolaou saying that the buyer “plans to implement a comprehensive renovation/modernization project to realize the upside potential of each building by achieving more competitive market rates.” Current rents range from $750-$800 for a one-bedroom unit; $900-$1,000 for a two-bedroom unit; and $1,000-$1,200 for a three-bedroom unit.

Loft Living at a Former Art Deco Police Precinct

In the 1920s, infamous Jersey City mayor Frank Hague tapped his favorite architect, Christian Ziegler, to design a new police precinct on Montgomery Street. Ziegler was an Art Deco master who would later work on many of Jersey City’s Art Deco masterpieces, from the Jersey City Medical Center to Roosevelt Stadium to the A. Harry Moore School.

Last year, the building began its latest incarnation, as Soleil Lofts. Condos in the renovated six-story, 38-unit building at 769 Montgomery St. near McGinley Square have been selling quickly, with 19 of the units selling in the first six months. The 19 remaining units, a mix of one and two bedroom condos, range in size from 819 to over 2,339 square feet and in price from $215,000 to $429,000.

The building is located at 769 Montgomery St. near McGinley Square and St. Peter’s College (the development’s real estate agents and marketers insist the neighborhood is “becoming known” as the catchy moniker “SoJo” — as in South of Journal Square).

769 Montgomery Street Urban Renewal LLC developed the property, focusing on luxury amenities — like in-unit washer/dryers, a virtual doorman system, indoor parking and oversized closets — while keeping some Art Deco charm in the lobby and exterior, including the original palladium style windows.

“Attractive layouts, value prices, indoor parking and design details like oversized closets, are all contributors to the success of sales. We are extremely pleased with the rate of sales at Soleil Lofts,” 769 Montgomery Street Urban Renewal LLC partner Louis Fernandez says in a statement. “Today’s savvy buyer knows value and is quick to commit to a building with the right combination of location, design, and value.”

Jon Whiten

co-founded the Jersey City Independent. He is currently the Deputy Director of New Jersey Policy Perspective.