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UD off-campus apartments sold for $73M

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A New York private equity fund recently bought the One Easton apartments in Newark for an eye-popping $335,000 per unit. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS

NEWARK – One of the largest off-campus apartment complexes for the University of Delaware was recently sold for more than $73 million, continuing a red-hot trend of multifamily sales in the greater Newark area.

One Easton apartments, located in the Newark Shopping Center off East Main Street, was acquired by KKR, a New York-based private equity firm that has more than $59 billion in assets under management worldwide.

The 220-unit complex is entirely made up of two-bedroom, two-bathroom units with monthly rents per person running between $1,090 and $1,280, according to online listings. In serving the college student population, One Easton also provides a roommate-matching service. The complex also includes a resident-only courtyard, coffee bar, recreational space and a parking garage.

The seller was Pinecrest, a Chicago-based real estate investment and development firm that built the complex in a joint venture with Florida-based apartment developer The Bainbridge Companies in 2016. One Easton replaced the longtime Blue Hen Lanes bowling alley as part of a redesign and refresh of the entire Newark Shopping Center.

The $73.73 million sale that closed April 19 translates to a per unit sale of more than $335,000, likely smashing the previous record sale in Delaware on a per unit basis.

Another off-campus apartment complex set the previous believed record in February. EQT Exeter, a global private equity firm, acquired the 228-unit Christina Mill apartment complex off Elkton Road near Suburban Plaza for $49 million sale, translating to a per unit price of nearly $215,000.

The roughly 55% increase in per unit pricing for One Easton over Christina Mill shows the value of being close to Newark’s city center and the central UD campus. It also exemplifies the pace of record-setting values in the northern Delaware multifamily market, which has seen more than a half dozen assets trade for more than $20 million since the pandemic began.

That explosion in values is being led primarily by out-of-state buyers, with more attention coming from institutional investors like KKR and EQT Exeter, especially for Class A properties. Meanwhile, other firms like Montium, Oakmark Management and Capital Management are also lavishing large investments here – both Montium and Oakmark have exceeded $100 million – aimed at complexes with investment upsides.

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