BigNews.Biz - Jan 18,2011 - Private equity real estate group Tryko Partners, LLC has purchased Fox Hill Apartments, a 436-unit rental community in Monroeville, Pa., from CEW Partners, announced Uri Kahanow, the firm's director of acquisitions. The $14 million investment brings the Brick, N.J., firm's Pittsburgh market portfolio to 1,300 units - a local foothold that Tryko Partners hopes to expand as part of an aggressive growth strategy, according to Kahanow.
Michael Liguori of Langholz Wilson Ellis, Inc. brokered the sale on behalf of both Tryko Partners and CEW Partners.
Situated on 28 acres on Fox Hill Drive, Fox Hill Apartments features one-, two- and three-bedroom residences in four brick-clad buildings. Lifestyle amenities include a swimming pool, tennis court, playground, community room and guest suites. The community, built in the early 1980s, currently is approximately 78 percent occupied.
"We specialize in value-add properties, and we recognized an outstanding opportunity with Fox Hill Apartments, especially in light of its location in Monroeville, which is a solid, stable multifamily market," Kahanow said. "Our cost basis will enable us to go in and upgrade it to an A+ asset while maintaining competitive rental rates."
According to Hirsch Chinn, vice president of property management for Tryko Partners, a multi-million-dollar renovation of vacant units and common areas at Fox Hill Apartments will commence immediately. "We will install granite countertops and stainless appliances, remodel lobbies and common areas, and update landscaping throughout the grounds," he said. "Everything will be high end and modern. Additionally, we will add a fitness center and a business center to enhance resident services."
Tryko Partners anticipates a March 2011 grand opening and the complete renovation of all units over the next three years.
Fox Hill Apartments sits 14 miles outside of Pittsburgh, just off I-376 near its intersection with I-76 (the Pennsylvania Turnpike). The Monroeville market is an established, major employment center and shopping hub, with some 5.7 million square feet of office and industrial space, and 5.4 million square feet of retail - including the 1.3 million-square-foot Monroeville Mall.
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), western Pennsylvania's largest employer, is building a 120-bed hospital just 1.5 miles from Fox Hill apartments; that facility will bring hundreds of new jobs in the community. Additionally, a new convention center and a Marriott Hotel being built nearby add to the region's abundant amenities.
Tryko Partners is confident that, within this context, Fox Hill Apartments is positioned to thrive. It represents a follow-up project to the firm's recent success with Emerald Gardens, a 427-unit rental complex in Pittsburgh's West End. The firm purchased that former HUD property fully vacant in 2007 and invested $17 million in its turnaround. Today, Emerald Gardens is 100 percent occupied with a waiting list.
"The Pittsburgh multifamily market is an exciting place to be, as is evidenced by strong investor interest and other recent property trades in the Monroeville market and surrounding towns," said Kahanow, adding that Tryko Partners just closed on the purchase of an additional 150 units at two area properties.