WOODBRIDGE, N.J. – The Kislak Company, Inc. announced the recent $32,775,000 sale of The Gateway, a new highly-acclaimed transit-oriented development with 57 luxury apartments and 9,000 square feet of Class A retail space in downtown South Orange, Essex County, New Jersey. The property is located immediately west of the South Orange train station at 9 West South Orange Avenue, approximately 18 miles from Manhattan.
Completed in 2014, the property includes nine one-bedroom apartments, 48 two-bedroom apartments, three ground floor retail spaces and on-site parking. At the time of closing, the property’s apartments were fully occupied. Two of the retail spaces were occupied and the third retail space was recently leased to a new tenant.
Kislak marketed the property on an exclusive basis on behalf of the sellers and longtime Kislak clients, EEA Industries, LLC and Soundview Real Estate Partners, and their affiliates, South Orange Commons Tenant, LLC and South Orange Commons III Urban Renewal, LLC. Senior vice president Joni Sweetwood represented the sellers and Sweetwood and sales associate Julie Gralla represented the purchaser, a private investor and longtime Kislak client. Sweetwood and Gralla are mother and daughter and former South Orange residents.
With a per unit price well over $500,000, the sale of The Gateway exceeded the previous record for the highest sale price per unit for an apartment building in all of Essex County by more than $100,000 per unit according to data available from CoStar.
“From start to finish, this was an extraordinary project and sale,” said Edward Ayuso II, the founder and principal of EEA Industries. “Joni and her colleagues were very helpful, professional and ‘hands-on’ with whatever we needed from when we acquired the land in 2011, through the development process and culminating in this record sale. My partners and I are very pleased with the results and are committed to remaining in South Orange and being a part of its continued renaissance over the next few years.”
Often touted as “Brooklyn West,” South Orange continues to attract residents from New York City and elsewhere given its charming village, diverse community, vibrant restaurant and arts scene and easy accessibility to New York City. A midtown direct train from South Orange is only 28 minutes to New York’s Penn Station.
“The Gateway was truly a transformative project for South Orange Village,” said Sweetwood. “For years prior to Ed’s involvement, the site was a long-shuttered car dealer. It sat vacant and in disrepair, negatively impacting the west side the Village. Following the success of the nearby South Orange Performing Arts Center, Ed and his team helped to further transform the area and created opportunities for other developers with new apartments, restaurants and commercial space. I am proud of our accomplishments and look forward to working together on many more transactions.”
“Growing up in South Orange, it is exciting to see how much it has changed and improved in recent years,” said Gralla. “The Village has become like Hoboken, where I currently live, and is also attracting local and national investors and developers. I have known the purchaser since I started in the business and knew, based on his vision, that he would be perfect buyer for The Gateway.”
Joni Sweetwood joined Kislak in 1996 and is one of the firm’s all-time leading salespeople. She has won numerous awards, including the Sima Kislak Jelin Salesperson of the Year award in 2010 and the company’s production award multiple times since then. She has also been recognized repeatedly as one of New Jersey’s Commercial Broker All Stars, as well as the Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal’s Executive Women in Business.
Julie Gralla joined Kislak and is a rising star at the firm. In 2012, she won the firm’s Rookie of the Year award and since then has completed transactions valued at more than $65 million.
Since 2001, Kislak and EEA Industries have also worked together on several other projects. Sweetwood previously represented Ayuso in the purchase of the land for The Gateway, in the purchase of two other properties in South Orange that were successfully redeveloped and sold as condominiums and in the purchase of 0.489-acre redevelopment parcel across from the Gateway. In the latter transaction, Gralla represented the seller. Kislak and EEA are also working on another nearby redevelopment site.
About The Kislak Company, Inc.
The Kislak Company, Inc., which is headquartered in Woodbridge, New Jersey, is a leading commercial real estate brokerage consistently recognized for its investment sales success. Established in 1906, Kislak’s market leadership position and longevity are due to its ability to offer clients a personalized, hands-on approach, coupled with the unrivaled expertise of its long-tenured team of professionals. Kislak’s prestigious client base includes individual investors and owners, partnerships, financial institutions, and REITs. The firm’s 30 professionals provide comprehensive market coverage throughout New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware.
Now in its 110th year, Kislak was among a select group of firms recognized as a 2015 Power Broker by CoStar Group, Inc. and this was the firm’s tenth consecutive recognition.