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After 65 Years Owners Sell Lodi Apartment Complex For Cool $100 Million

The Cedar Wright apartments in Lodi
The Cedar Wright apartments in Lodi Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Jeanne Luehs

LODI, N.J. -- A hot neighborhood and housing market worked in favor of the owners of a Lodi apartment complex bordering Wood-Ridge that's now changing hands after 65 years.

Cedar Wright Gardens located at 77 Mary St. has been operating under the same ownership since 1952 and last week sold for $100 million, broker Gebroe-Hammer Associates announced Tuesday, Jan. 24.

The neighborhood on the Lodi-Wood-Ridge border is undergoing a renaissance, said Ken Uranowitz, president of Gebroe-Hammer Associates, a multi-family-focused investment sales brokerage firm based in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

The multi-family market has also been particularly strong in year-over-year sales, with Gebroe-Hammer experiencing a 178 percent increase in 2015,  Uranowitz said.

The quaint 31-acre community known as Cedar Wright Gardens features a mix of one- and two-bedroom units in Lodi located near the transit-friendly neighborhood of the Wesmont redevelopment area in Wood-Ridge. The New Jersey Transit Bergen County line is just a few blocks away.

Once the 642-unit property went up for sale, it immediately drew a lot of attention due to its location and "repositioning potential associated with area development," Uranowitz said.

The brokerage team of Uranowitz; Joseph Brecher, managing director; and Greg Pine, executive vice president, exclusively represented the seller, Cedar Wright Gardens, LP. The buyer was identified only as Cedar Wright Apartments, LLC. 

“Cedar Wright Gardens is a prominent garden-style complex known for its high visibility and distinguished presence within one of the wealthiest and most-densely populated counties in the United States,” said Pine. “Its strategic location in the Roosevelt/Terhune/Passaic Avenue neighborhood, adjacent to the Wesmont redevelopment area, appeals to young, former urbanites who are dominating the area’s tenant pool.”

The Roosevelt/Terhune/Passaic Avenue district is undergoing a renaissance associated with its proximity to the former Curtiss Wright airplane factory redevelopment site, approximately an eighth of a mile away in Wood-Ridge. 

The $400 million redevelopment has paved the way for a pedestrian-friendly town square with a new commuter rail station as its focal point. 

Opened in May 2016, Wesmont Station has been the catalyst for the introduction of additional luxury residential housing units, high-end retail shops, first-class offices, dining establishments and entertainment venues to the area.

“Millennials and empty nesters, the majority of whom are renters by choice, as well as renters by necessity, are flooding the tenant pool pipeline, strengthening occupancy rates and establishing new asking-rent benchmarks. 

"These conditions, coupled with the state’s transition toward a more walkable, transit-focused lifestyle, are rendering multi-family investment more desirable than ever,” said Uranowitz.

The introduction of newly constructed multi-family units in the area is having a positive influence on existing apartment dwellings like Cedar Wright Gardens, bolstering market fundamentals and fueling heavy demand.

“The buyer plans to implement capital improvements that appeal to the area’s diverse tenant base, which ranges from hard-working families to established, highly educated business executives,” said Brecher. 

“2016 proved to be a year in which original owner/builders and decades-long owners, who never considered selling, took advantage of an extremely heated market demand for multi-family products. These industry veterans know, from past experience, this is a cyclical business and the curtain may be coming down soon on sub 4 percent interest rates.

“Bidding on existing for-sale properties is becoming even more competitive and aggressive as investors continue to seek Class B capital improvement opportunities that offer long-term rent appreciation and a greater return on investment,” said Uranowitz.

Gebroe-Hammer is the leading multi-family investment sales brokerage firm in New Jersey and the entire tri-state region. The firm’s brokerage activities concentrate on suburban and urban high-rise and garden-apartment properties throughout the Northeast and nationally. Gebroe-Hammer also markets mixed-use and free-standing office and retail properties. Widely recognized for its consistent sales performance, the firm is an 11-time CoStar Power Broker.

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