REAL ESTATE

HUBB NYC Buying AIMCO Apartments

HUBB’s John McCarthy and with 510 East 88th Street and 181-199 Columbus Avenue (Google Maps)

HUBB NYC, a Midtown-based investor that has already made one big multifamily buy this year, has struck a deal to buy a Manhattan apartment portfolio from a public company that’s looking to get out of New York City.

The privately held HUBB is in contract to buy a group of 11 buildings on Manhattan’s Upper East and Upper West sides from Denver-based REIT Air Communities for $190 million, sources familiar with the agreement told The Real Deal.

Air Communities, an $8 billion landlord/manager that was spun out of the publicly traded developer AIMCO last year, is selling out of the New York market and investing in others with a focus on the South and Sun Belt.

The REIT just bought a portfolio of 1,400 apartments in the greater Washington, D.C., area for more than $500 million, according to Real Estate Alert.

Representatives for HUBB NYC and Air Communities did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

New York City’s multifamily sales market is a closely watched barometer for both the desirability of the Big Apple as a place to live and work, and for investors to capitalize on rising real estate prices. The market has taken some hits though, first from a 2019 law that made it difficult for owners to raise rents on regulated apartments, and then from the pandemic.

As a result, some owners like Air Communities are looking to sell their regulated apartments and put their money to work where they see more upside. New investors are pushing in, trying to buy low or just making long-term plays, and experts say the multifamily market is showing surprising resilience.

In the latest deal, HUBB, led by president John McCarthy, is buying a package of 361 apartments in older, class B buildings. Air Communities put the portfolio on the market earlier this year with a team at Cushman & Wakefield led by Adam Spies and Adam Doneger, who also sold the D.C.-area apartments to the REIT.

The offering included a 12th building that is not part of the deal with HUBB. The 195-unit building at 240 West 73rd Street, named The Tempo, is now being marketed separately.

HUBB, meanwhile, is coming off another big deal in Manhattan. The company last month paid $105 million to buy a 141-unit rental and retail building in Harlem at 56 West 125th Street.

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