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Hartz enters West Coast market with $62M Seattle apartment purchase

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Hartz Mountain Industries started to go west in 2011 when it acquired a high-rise apartment building in downtown Chicago.

And now, it’s gone about as far west as it can go.

The Secaucus-based developer has acquired a 184-unit residential tower in Seattle, the company announced Thursday. It’s a deal that furthers its strategy of scouring the nation for strong residential acquisitions, while focusing on new development in urban areas closer to home.

The newest acquisition is of Alto Apartments, a 17-story building in the city’s Belltown section that was completed last year, Hartz said. Published reports said the property was sold by Seattle-based Harbor Urban and Cigna Realty Investors for $62.3 million.

Gus Milano, Hartz’s managing director, said the company was attracted to features like Seattle’s technology-based economy, its growth prospects and its young population. Seattle and the surrounding area are home to corporate giants like Microsoft, Amazon.com and Starbucks, and he said the city satisfies “every criteria of the decision-making matrix for multifamily investment.”

“We looked at a lot of the gateway cities, and Seattle was one on that list,” Milano said, noting the company would look for other investments in the market “as time goes by.”

After decades of building commercial space, Hartz broke into the multifamily sector in 2010, with plans to develop and acquire rental properties. Its portfolio now includes 3,000 units, the company said in a press release.

In a prepared statement, Hartz Chief Operating Officer Emanuel Stern said Alto Apartments gave the company “an exciting opportunity that we could not pass up,” adding that the market is “both flourishing and still nowhere near its full potential.”

Hartz Mountain was represented in the deal by Jeffrey Dunne and Christopher Leonard of CBRE’s New York Institutional Group, while James Gunning and Donna Falzarano of CBRE’s Debt & Equity Finance team secured the debt for Hartz Mountain. Jon Hallgrimson, Frank Bosl and Eli Hanacek of CBRE’s Seattle office represented the seller.

Reporter Joshua Burd is @JoshBurdNJ on Twitter.

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