GAIA Real Estate Picks Up 3 East Village Residential Buildings for $50M

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GAIA Real Estate picked up a trio of neighboring East Village residential buildings for $49.5 million, the first New York City purchase the firm has made since the pandemic started.

The landlord bought 50-58 East Third Street, which has 71 rental units between them, from Anbau Enterprises in an off-market deal, GAIA said.

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New York-based GAIA — which has residential holdings in Texas, Arizona and Florida — said the deal was its first in the city since the coronavirus pandemic hit and is part of its new fund aimed at buying “opportunistic” residential buildings throughout the city.

“In the coming years, we believe that buying New York City multifamily assets in prime neighborhoods at higher cap rates than many secondary U.S. markets will yield strong returns,” Danny Fishman, CEO of GAIA, said in a statement. “There are risks, of course, as the NYC market rebounds but we believe that investing is a long game. And as we’ve seen time and time again, one should not bet against NYC in the long-run.”

And GAIA was able to pick up the portfolio at a nearly $4 million discount. Anbau bought the three buildings from investment fund GRJ for $58 million in 2016, quite a bit higher than the $23.5 million GRJ paid, The Real Deal reported.

The buildings total 52,500 square feet and are each six stories tall with several rent-regulated units inside, according to PropertyShark.

Brandon Polakoff of Avison Young brokered the sale.

“The GAIA team was incredible to work with,” Polakoff said in a statement. “They made a bet that students, two graduating classes, and young professionals would create a sharp turnaround while others waited on the sidelines. That bet is more than paying off so far.”

A representative for Anbau did not respond to a request for comment.

Update: This story has been updated to include a comment from broker Brandon Polakoff.

Nicholas Rizzi can be reached at nrizzi@commercialobserver.com.