Clemens Place, a complex of 42 apartment buildings in Hartford’s West End, has been purchased by a New York investor for $29.5 million, the new owner told me today.
UOB Eagle Rock Multifamily Property Fund LP closed on the sale Friday and now plans $2 million in improvements throughout the 600-unit complex off Farmington Avenue, Eagle Rock principal Rishi Gupta said.
The sale price is roughly $50,000 a unit. The complex of two- and three-story buildings is distinguished by its eclectic architectural mix of Jacobethan, Renaissance, Spanish Colonial and Swiss Chalet styles dating from 1907 to 1923. Thirty-one of the buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places.
The complex is bordered by Farmington and Sisson avenues and also includes Frederick, Denison and Owen streets. Stone lion sculptures mark the entrances of some buildings.
This is Eagle Rock’s fifth apartment purchase in Connecticut in the past year, its first in Hartford.
In October, Eagle Rock purchased an upscale apartment complex in New Haven’s Westville neighborhood for $41.6 million, or $141,000 a unit. The 294-unit, Wintergreen of Westville complex was built in 2008.
Gupta told me Eagle Rock was attracted to Clemens Place because of the firm sees gathering momentum in the revitalization of the state’s capital city.
“We really like Hartford,” Gupta told me. “It is a very interesting town. Under the current state and city leadership, there are efforts to make it very economically prosperous.”
Efforts within the city — investing in the arts, preserving architecture — are bolstered by encouraging initiatives in the surrounding region, Gupta said. Those include supporting the growth of precision manufacturing; investing in the expansion of such companies as ESPN; and zeroing in on improving education, Gupta said.
Clemens Place is now 70 percent market-rate and 30 percent Section 8 housing, Gupta said. That mix is not expected to change, he said.
Gupta said he doesn’t expect rents to change significantly. Rents now range from $770 a month for a studio to $1,270 for a two-bedroom apartment. Furnished apartments run higher.
Right now, renovation plans call for upgrades in apartments when tenants move out of their units. The last major renovation was in the early 1980s, but the previous owners — Intown West Associates Limited Partnership — have been making interior improvements, Gupta said.
Apartments that are renovated with higher-end upgrades would likely see the rent increases, Gupta said.
Tenants learned of the sale late Tuesday when a notice was slipped under the doors to their apartments.
Clemens Place is part of the Little Hollywood National Register Historic District. The district was so-named with the social emergence of young professional women who wanted to live in apartments rather than at home or in boarding houses.
“This district became popularly identified with this new type of independent young woman, said to be beautiful and said to lead glamorous lives,” the register nomination states. “Hence the name Little Hollywood.”
Institutional Property Advisors executive directors Steve Witten and Victor Nolletti advised the seller.