Coney Realty Acquires Upper Manhattan Multifamily Portfolio for $47M

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Barberry Rose Management’s Lewis Barbanel sold an uptown portfolio of rent-stabilized buildings at a $36.6 million loss, Commercial Observer has learned. Coney Realty’s Peter Rebenwurzel purchased the portfolio of 16 multifamily residential buildings spread across Inwood, Washington Heights and Harlem for $47 million. Cignature Realty’s Lazer Sternhell, who represented both the buyer and seller with Peter Vanderpool, confirmed the sale. 

The 385,968-square-foot portfolio — which represented nearly half of Barberry Rose’s residential holdings — sold for roughly $122 per square foot. It contains some 433 apartments and two storefront units. The buildings are subject to rent regulation, and a portion of the units are rent-stabilized. 

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“The buyer took advantage of the condition of the rent-stabilized market,” Sternhell said. “The market has not seen prices this low in many years, and they believe over time prices will appreciate.”

Barbanel acquired all 16 of the buildings between May and December 2016 in four transactions totaling $83.6 million, selling them at a nearly 44 percent loss seven years later. 

But he has publicly claimed that the pandemic took a serious toll on the portfolio.

In testimony before the city’s Rent Guidelines Board in June, Barbanel pleaded for significant rent hikes on his properties’ stabilized leases, citing the pandemic’s economic fallout, inflation, the cost of labor, materials and insurance as causes of continuing financial hardship for landlords.

“Since the outbreak of COVID, we have been collecting, on average, under 80 percent of the rent that is due,” Barbanel said during the testimony.

Barbanel and Rebenwurzel did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Twelve buildings in the deal sit on opposite sides of a single block, at 109 to 133 Sherman Avenue and 22 to 38 Post Avenue in Inwood between Dyckman and Academy streets.

Two other five-story walk-ups in the portfolio — 252 Sherman Avenue and 66 Vermilyea Avenue — are also in Inwood. The final two buildings are in Harlem at 519 West 143rd Street and in Washington Heights at 574 West 161st Street.

Abigail Nehring can be reached at anehring@commercialobserver.com.