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N.J. firm buys two more apartment complexes

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Cranston Hall, a 169-unit apartment complex, was bought in a deal that translates to a per unit sale of $134,000. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS

NEW CASTLE  — A New Jersey-based multifamily real estate investment and operating firm has acquired two more properties in northern Delaware, growing its share in the market.

Montium, a 2-year-old firm based in Lakewood, N.J., and led by founding partners Sam Tress, Ben Ferziger and Israel Mendlowitz, has grown rapidly in the region, acquiring more than 30 apartment complexes, including at least six in Delaware.

The two most recent acquisitions are Cranston Hall apartments in Prices Corner and Galloway Apartments in New Castle, both of which fit Montium’s target of non-trophy properties in East Coast markets that it can invest remodels into, raising the value to Class B levels. It is an end-to-end firm, which invests in acquisitions and remodels while managing maintenance and leasing afterward.

It acquired the 169-unit Cranston Hall from the estate of David McKay for $22.7 million on April 27, translating to a per unit sale of more than $134,000. Located off Old Capitol Trail, Cranston Hall features one- or two-bedroom units with monthly rents ranging from $1,450 to $1,725, according to online listings.

On May 20, Montium added the 129-unit Galloway in a $22 million purchase from New Jersey-based Cue Residential, translating to a per unit sale of more than $170,000. Located off U.S. Route 13, Galloway features one- or two-bedroom units with monthly rents ranging from $1,025 to $1,325, according to online listings.

After acquiring four greater Newark-area apartment complexes – Southgate Gardens, Iron Hill, Liberty Square and Hidden Creek – Montium has already invested more than $100 million into the First State. Its latest deals push its investment here to more than $147 million.

The multi-family real estate market has been particularly hot in Delaware, with half of the Top 10 most expensive sales last year coming from the sector. Most of that interest is concentrated in New Castle County, where out-of-state investors like Montium have been pouring tens of millions into upgradable middle-tier complexes that can attract workers from the greater Philadelphia area or the University of Delaware.

Bob DiPasquale, vice president of Philadelphia-based brokerage Rittenhouse Realty Advisors that represented the McKay estate in the sale of Cranston Hall, said the northern Delaware market continues to see an influx of regional buyers from New York and North Jersey.

“This trend has created a surge in historically high pricing that has really incentivized long-term local owners to capitalize on the exorbitant amount of equity looking to be dispersed into the market,” he said in a statement.

Corey Lonberger, managing partner at RRA, noted that the interest could continue for the foreseeable future.

“Looking to the future and how the market continues to change with rising interest rates, a stable and consistent market such as northern Delaware would be an ideal location for continued growth due to its desirability in corporate tax incentives and proximity to employers in major metropolitan markets such as Philadelphia, New York, and Washington D.C.,” he added.

Montium did not respond to requests for comment on its recent Delaware investments.

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