Chic Manhattan Apartment Tower Trades for $122.5M

The Elektra, the luxury apartment building at 290 Third Ave. in Manhattan, has come under new ownership. Almost five years after having acquired the 166-unit residential tower for $92.5 million, JP Morgan Investment Management Inc. has sold the asset to Invesco Real Estate.

April 27, 2011
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

The Elektra, the luxury apartment building at 290 Third Ave. in Manhattan, has come under new ownership. Almost five years after having acquired the 166-unit residential tower for $92.5 million, JP Morgan Investment Management Inc. has sold the asset to Invesco Real Estate in a transaction valued at $122.5 million.

The price tag includes Invesco’s assumption of an existing $70 million mortgage through Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.

Located in Manhattan’s Gramercy neighborhood, The Elektra first opened its doors in 1992, but it was not always an address for the upscale renter. Beth Israel Medical Center had utilized the 32-story building as affordable housing for nurses and interns before selling it in November 2006, a move that was contested by many, including the City of New York Manhattan Community Board No. 3, which had urged the hospital to “consider the negative consequences of displacing invaluable employees from their homes by selling.”

Fast forward to 2008 when The Elektra underwent a comprehensive redevelopment and emerged as an apartment building designed to cater to Manhattanites seeking high-end residential accommodations. Today, the property, which also features over 5,300 square feet of fully leased retail space, has a tenant roster that is at 95 percent capacity.

JP Morgan relied on commercial real estate services provider HFF L.P. to market The Elektra, which Invesco snapped up on behalf of an institutional client. The transaction marks Invesco’s return to the Manhattan multifamily market as an owner after a seven-year absence. In terms of any plans for additional acquisitions in the market this year, Invesco will have ample competition. “Buyers will reposition portfolios to take advantage of the stable, long-term investment outlook offered by the Manhattan apartment market,” Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services forecast in a recent report. “REITs and institutions will increase their presences in the borough, using the low cost of capital to capture trophy assets as they hit the market. As a result, bidding will intensify this year for Class A properties.”