Halpern and SMA Equities Close $62M Sale of LES Rental Building


A partnership of Halpern Real Estate Ventures and SMA Equities has completed the $61.5 million sale of 331 East Houston Street to Arkar, Commercial Observer has learned.

The deal for the 78-unit Lower East Side building between Attorney and Ridge Streets closed last Friday, according to Marcus & Millichap (MMI). It has a mix of 80 market-rate units and 16  affordable apartments, having been constructed using the 421a tax abatement program. The 67,600-square-foot property, which debuted in March 2016, is called Jones l.e.s.

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“It was a build-to-sell type of project,” said Marcus & Millichap’s Peter Von Der Ahe, who represented the buyer and sellers with colleagues Joseph Koicim, David Lloyd, Logan Markley and Seth Glasser.

Halpern teamed up with SMA in 2012 to buy four parcels of land for $12.4 million and spent $40 million to develop 331 East Houston Street, according to The Real Deal, which reported when the deal went into contract in May.

The majority of the units in the 13-story building are studios and one-bedrooms. The apartments rent from $2,954 per month for a 450-square-foot studio to $6,277 a month for a 900-square-foot two-bedroom pad, according to StreetEasy. Building amenities include a roof deck, a fitness room, a garden and a resident’s lounge.

Arkar, which is owned by multifamily investor Gili Haberberg, purchased the property as part of a 1031 exchange, Von Der Ahe said.

“The buyer had sold an asset in the Bronx and this was a 1031 exchange,” the broker told CO. “And [Arkar] liked the quality of the building—the fact that it’s new construction.”