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Rent-Stabilized Inwood Portfolio Sells At 44% Discount

Some of the Inwood buildings on Post Avenue that were sold by Barberry Rose Management.

Barberry Rose Management has sold a portfolio of rent-stabilized apartment units mostly in Manhattan’s Inwood neighborhood — but at a price well below what the multifamily owner paid in 2016.

The 16 properties sold to Coney Realty for $47M, a 44% discount from the $83.6M price that Barberry Rose paid for the portfolio in 2016, The Real Deal reported.

“That’s just a reflection of where the market is,” Cignature Realty’s Lazer Sternhell, who brokered the deal for both Coney Realty and Barberry Rose along with Peter Vanderpool, told The Real Deal.

The portfolio is composed of 12 buildings on opposite ends of the same Inwood block, 109 to 133 Sherman Ave. and 22 to 38 Post Ave., Commercial Observer reported. Another two buildings, 52 Sherman Ave. and 66 Vermilyea Ave., are also in Inwood, while the final two have Harlem addresses of 519 West 143rd St. and 574 West 161st St.

“We sold because of the three black swan events: the 2019 rent law changes (HSTPA), the pandemic’s impact on collections, and the interest rate increases,” Azi Graeber, Barberry Rose’s vice president of real estate and capital transactions, told Bisnow by email. “We continue to be active buyers in New Jersey and Florida.”

Barberry Rose has filed 54 eviction suits, mostly for nonpayment of rent, across its Inwood portfolio alone since pandemic eviction protections ended, The Real Deal reported.

The landlord’s decision to sell the Inwood portfolio was taken to salvage its remaining equity before its loans mature or markets get worse. Barberry Rose managed to finance the portfolio with low leverage debt at the time of purchase, but it doesn’t want to end up in choppy waters, per The Real Deal.

However, some of Barberry Rose’s Inwood tenants have been reporting a dire need for maintenance investments since before the 2019 rent laws were enacted. A group of tenants sued the landlord for maintenance works one month after the HSTPA passed in 2019, alt-weekly The Indypendent previously reported.

A Bisnow search of New York City’s court system also revealed that the landlord — named NYC’s second-worst landlord in 2020 by Public Advocate Jumaane Williams — has been sued multiple times by tenants in recent years.

In court-ordered inspections of Barberry Rose’s properties, the New York City Housing and Preservation Department found a bedroom that flooded in the rain and rat infestations.

Barberry Rose didn't respond to Bisnow’s questions about tenant allegations before and after the passing of the 2019 law.