Universe Holdings made its first East Coast investment by purchasing Mariners Cove, a 226-unit townhouse community in Toms River, New Jersey, for $ 60 million.
The acquisition coincides with the opening of the company’s New York office under the leadership of Aaron Manoucheri, who oversees capital markets and acquisitions on the East Coast for Universe. Since its founding in 1994, the company has acquired over 7,500 apartments for $ 1.5 billion, making Universe one of the largest apartment buyers in Southern California. Universe currently owns and operates a $ 1 billion portfolio of approximately 2,600 apartment buildings across Southern California.
The new office is the first step in expanding the company nationally as it seeks to expand its investment platform to include targeted emerging East Coast commuter markets in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland.
In addition to providing a local headquarters for sources of acquisition of opportunities in the Northeast, the new office will enable Universe to better serve and expand the East Coast investor base of high net worth individuals, family offices, private and institutional capital.
The acquisition of Mariners Cove is a result of Universe actively seeking investment opportunities on the East Coast for over a year, developing relationships with brokers and other industry representatives. The company plans to acquire several thousand apartment buildings on the East Coast over the next 24 to 36 months, Manusheri said.
“We are looking to buy large suburban assets and value-added portfolios with a core value of several hundred or more units to scale up in a relatively short period of time,” Manusheri said. “The opportunity to enter the market with the acquisition of an irreplaceable low-density Bay Area such as Mariner’s Cove is a great achievement for us and signals our intention to build a portfolio on the East Coast alongside our Southern California holdings. “
Built in 1972 and then renovated in 2013, Mariners Cove is a coastal community located on Barnegat Bay, with approximately 90 percent of its two-bedroom townhouses offering water views. Located at 372-1 Kettle Creek Road, the hotel has a central Three State location with direct access to Garden State Parkway, New Jersey’s main north / south highway. The River Tom is a popular renter location as it is close to major employment centers in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia. At the time of closing, 98% was leased.
Spencer Yablon of CBRE in Philadelphia represented both Universe and the seller in the deal.
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