Two of the Philadelphia area's biggest landlords are buying more Washington, D.C.-area apartments, in hopes of long-term federal government and contractor growth, despite recent overbuilding and government job cuts that have forced local rents there lower, as I noted in my Philadelphia Inquirer column May 1.(Use promotion code R55T to read if you're not already an online Inquirer subscriber.)
Morgan Properties, the King of Prussia firm headed by Temple U and national GOP donor Mitchell Morgan, says it's bought 620-unit Northampton Apartments, Largo, Md., in partnership with DRA Advisors LLC of New York, from Equity Residential, for an undisclosed sum. Morgan also says it's invested $10 million to upgrade Northwest Crossroads, Randall, Md., as it strives to boost rents.
"It was our second acquisition of this year in the Maryland-DC Corridor," Jonathan Morgan, director of acquisitions and capital markets and son of the founder, told me. "In January, we also acquired another 800-unit property with Dune Capital called Chesapeake Glen in Glen Burnie, also from Equity Residential." Overall, "we have acquired approximately 3,400 over the last 18 months, of which 2,000 units are comprised of the Maryland-DC market and over 1,200 units in Philly."
Lubert-Adler, the Philadelphia-based, Ira Lubert-Dean Adler partnership that controls real estate worth more than $16 billion for clients including the Pennsylvania state pension funds, says it has "amassed" 70 apartment complexes and 20,000 apartments apartments worth $2 billion, mostly since early 2012. Local holdings include 2040 Market St., the former AAA insurance building that Lubert- Adler's partner Ron Caplan is turning into high-end apartments, a few blocks east of Lubert-Adler's Cira Center headquarters.
Recent Lubert-Adler deals include the purchase of Hunting Point, south of Old Town Alexandria, Va., in partnership with Laramar Group, for $78 million, or $147,000 per unit, from the Virginia state Departoment of Transportation, which had acquired and then demolished part of the complex to expand the Woodrow Wilson Bridge to Washington.