River Place sold again, this time for $36 million

River Place, a 136-unit rental complex on Lewis Street, has sold for $36 million — almost $10 million more than it sold for almost 3 1/2 years ago.

The announcement last week by Gebroe-Hammer Associates, which represented the seller, also included the sale of Alden Apartments for an undisclosed price. UPDATE, Feb. 25: That undisclosed price is $5.35 million, according to the deed that was filed Jan. 8, and it looks like the buyer was Lodi-based Cole Group Realty, apparently its first New Jersey residential property.

The 32-unit complex on Alden Drive includes 20 two-bedroom units and 12 one-bedroom units. Built in 1945, the property is assessed at $500,000, with a property tax bill of about $31,020.

59471-riverplace252crahwayBuilt in 2005, River Place consists of 76 two-bedroom and 60 one-bedroom units, ranging from 859 to 1,471 square feet. The original developer, Heartstone Development, sold the two-building complex in 2011 for $26.25 million. The most recent sale puts the average per-unit price at about $264,705 — a 37-percent premium over the $193,000 per unit when it sold three years ago.

“Almost 75 percent of the units have been renovated during the past three years and the new owner plans to rehab the remaining units upon turnover in order to render them more competitive,” Gebroe-Hammer President Ken Urbanowitz said in a press release. “The buyer recognized significant upside potential as the city’s downtown district continues to mature and transition to one of the state’s premier cultural and entertainment hubs,” he said.

East Hanover-based Heartstone has since partnered with AST Development and Sterling Properties to complete the $18-million Metro Rahway, a five-story, 116-unit rental complex on Campbell Street that started leasing last fall. Metro Rahway was awarded a 15-year Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT) while River Place was constructed on property owned by the Parking Authority, which shares a $340,000 annual PILOT with the city.

“Rahway has a rather unique personality with pockets of residential and commercial neighborhoods that appeal to today’s commuter tenant base,” said sales representative Gehane Triarsi, noting that almost 40 percent of households within a five-mile radius are renter-occupied. “In addition to Alden Apartments’ distinctive townhome-like designs and amenities, which attracted the buyer’s interest, the garden community is within a few blocks of the area’s 10 parks, including Rahway River Park; a lake; grocery stores; banks; restaurants, and schools,” Triarsi said.

9 thoughts on “River Place sold again, this time for $36 million”

  1. The person who wrote that article clearly is being handed old and second hand information about Rahway. There is so many inaccurate or inflated information in what was written, most glaring of which is the location of Alden Apartments being within “blocks” of the amenities listed. Also, there is NO bus that runs from Rahway to NYC directly, a huge problem for those who might not want to use the train. The bus, runs through neighboring towns and winds up in Newark. Last time I was forced to take this route due to a train shut-down, it took me nearly an hour alone to get from Elizabeth to Rahway!

    1. While the term “blocks” from everything is not entirely accurate, if you live in Rahway you most likely have a car. This is not NYC, Jersey City, Hoboken or another town near NYC that a person can rely completely on mass transit. Anyone who knows NJ at all knows Rahway is not a place to live without a car. As far as the bus comment, if given the choice between a train or bus anyone with a brain in their skull would choose the train. NJ Transit buses are the absolute worst.

      1. True – I totally agree about the bus not being a good choice but, those who may have physical disabilities can not always rely on the train station elevator to work.

        For instance, the past 2 mornings it has been out of service which means climbing up 2 large flights of stairs to get to the platform. NJT’s solution is to board on the other side, go backwards to Woodbridge and wait for another inbound train at that station. This, would put a commuter behind a 1/2 hour or more, let alone the issue of what happens once there if access to the Woodbridge platform is not accessible?

        A direct bus to the PA in town, while not the preferred method (I’ve been commuting for my entire life – nearly 40 years) would at least be an alternative. I’d appreciate it – I recently went through 2 years of an injury and subsequent rehab which made my commute less than tolerable many days. Having to head the opposite direction and back again was not an option. A bus, would not be a great choice, but one nonetheless.

  2. Seems like the seller and Gebroe-Hammer did well on this; the buyer, not so much. A valuation of nearly $265K per unit? Preposterous.

  3. Colin, I just did the math to come up with that figure; it wasn’t mentioned in their release this time, but it was the previous sale. I wonder why, or how much the renovations of 75% of the units factor into the average/sale price.

  4. Yes, that looks accurate: $500,000 x $6.204 tax rate (per $100 of assessed value) = $31,020. That’s the *assessed* value, which is different from market value (that seems to be more like $5.35m based on the recent sale).

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