Douglas Eisenberg’s A&E Real Estate has completed the largest Queens multifamily deal since the start of the pandemic.
A&E paid $130 million for the 22-building Cunningham Heights apartment complex in Queens Village, a representative for the company told The Real Deal. The 1950s-era development has more than 1,000 apartments across four city blocks and was 99 percent occupied.
The deal reflected the company’s strategy of buying apartment buildings that have fallen out of favor with large buyers.
“As was the case with Cunningham Heights, we continue to field a wide range of multifamily investment opportunities that, despite their very strong fundamentals, are not attracting nearly the same level of interest among institutional investors that we saw pre-pandemic,” Eisenberg said in a statement.
The purchase price works out to a little more than $123,000 per apartment. The seller was Long Island-based Benjamin Companies, according to property records.
The deal was one of the largest purchases for A&E and the biggest pandemic-era multifamily deal in Queens since Josh Gotlib’s Black Spruce Management paid $87 million at the end of last year to buy a four-building portfolio in Briarwood.
Queens’ multifamily investment-sales market bounced back last year, but not as strongly as the city’s economy as a whole.
Apartment-building sales totaled $806 million last year, according to Ariel Property Advisors. While that was an increase of 68 percent over 2020, it was 27 percent below the more than $1 billion in sales the borough recorded in 2019.
Across the five boroughs, multifamily deals totaled a little more than $8 billion last year, up 14 percent from pre-pandemic levels.
One bright spot: The number of multifamily sales in Queens last year was up 11 percent over 2019, indicating strong demand among investors. The lower dollar total was attributed to a combination of smaller deals and lower pricing.
The average price per square foot for a multifamily deal in Queens last year was $286, according to Ariel Property. That was down from $343 per square foot in 2019, a drop that the brokerage attributed to the change in the rent stabilization law that year.
A&E last year picked up a pair of mixed-use buildings in Jackson Heights for nearly $60 million at a discount of about 11 percent to the asking price.