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Three Hot Submarkets Investors Dream About

1) Northern Manhattan.

It’s the borough’s one spot where multifamily investors can find everything they want: feasible prices and rent growth. But the window is closing, as Harlem land prices already are commanding only condos.

While lack of supply slows building trades elsewhere, Cignature Realty CEO Lazer Sternhell, whom we snapped with his Yankee stadium seats, tells us his company is finding so much business up north that it’s recruiting more brokers.

Lazer and president Peter Vanderpool (above) recently arranged Treetop Development’s $24.5M acquisition of 147 apartments in five Washington Heights buildings (27-29 Audubon Ave., 79 Audubon Ave., 516 W 169th, and 507 W 170th) and Hamilton Heights’ 565 W 139th St. The Columbia University Medical Center means pools of postgrads with busy schedules looking for housing close to work, Lazer says. Rents are still low, but gentrification is coming quick as Columbia expands the medical center.

2) Hamilton Heights and Its Higher Ed

Prices in the 130s and 140s from St. Nicholas westward are higher than they’ve ever been, Peter says. Still, they’re low compared to other parts of the city, enticing investors. The neighborhood benefits from expansions at City College and Columbia, and students are simply spilling out of the 1 train stop at 137th and Broadway, Peter and Lazer say. Earlier this year, they arranged Florida-based Waterbury Meadow LLC’s $8.5M acquisition of the 24-unit and five-store 3450 Broadway (above) at 141st Street.

3) Harlem and Its Hip Factor

Peter says lots of young professionals are moving in from north of Central Park to the 125th Street corridor—along with banks, coffee shops, and pubs. Cignature arranged Treetop’s $11.3M, $272/SF acquisition of 2261, 2265, 2267-2269, and 2271-2273 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. (above), totaling 41 apartments and six stores, including Shrine World Music Venue. Loads of new construction is going up. And just as on the rest of the island, land prices are making condos the de facto asset class—a sign of what’s on the way elsewhere in Northern Manhattan.

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