Firm to Invest $1.5 Million in 184-Unit Affordable Housing Community
CAMDEN, N.J., – Tryko Partners, LLC has acquired Liberty Park Townhomes in Camden from Vesta Corp. With a new PILOT agreement in place, the private equity real estate group will immediately launch an approximately $1.5 million capital improvement program at the 184-unit affordable housing property on South 8th Street.
Tryko worked closely with the City of Camden to secure the PILOT awarded for Liberty Park Townhomes, with Steve Erie from Vesta Corp. and Earl Cole from MMA Capital Management LLC, Vesta Corp.’s financing partner, to identify a scope of work that will enhance aesthetics, infrastructure and quality of life at the property.
“This transaction involved a great deal of positive cooperation and persistence among many parties, with each of us eager to see this property succeed,” noted Tryko Partners’ Uri Kahanow, director of acquisitions. “It provides a great example of how public and private organizations can work together in the best interest of city residents and to improve neighborhoods.”
According to Kahanow, Liberty Park had reached a crossroads requiring significant capital investment, which presented a logical time to transition ownership. “Vesta and MMA have done a great job managing Liberty Park over the years,” he noted. “Tryko Partners – in partnership with The City of Camden – looks forward to building on their achievements.”
Ultimately, Tryko decided to more than double the improvement budget it committed to under the PILOT. “We see great potential for Liberty Park, and by making a significant investment we can provide a community that will be a source of pride for its residents and the City of Camden,” Kahanow said. “When the upgrades are completed the property will have an entirely new look and feel.”
Tryko Partners will re-side all buildings, replace windows (in phases), repair and repave parking areas and sidewalks as needed, install new signage, and update landscaping throughout the property. Planned infrastructure improvements include the reparation of sanitary lines, and replacement of hot water systems and electric outlets.
Additionally, the capital improvements will include the incorporation of an innovative, high-tech security system where cameras located throughout the grounds provide feed linking directly to the police department. “The program will provide peace of mind for our tenants by enabling public safety professionals to successfully and easily monitor the neighborhood,” Kahanow explained.
A Commitment to Camden
MMA Capital Management and Vesta Corp. selected Tryko from a pool of potential buyers based on the firm’s track record in Camden and reputation among affordable housing operators.
Tryko Partners entered the Camden market when it purchased Crestbury Apartments in early 2013, also supported by a PILOT program awarded by the city. The company in late 2014 completed a $2.6 million transformation of that 392-unit affordable housing property – including great success with the same security program planned for Liberty Park Townhomes. The two communities are located within one mile of each other.
“Tryko has done a wonderful job at Crestbury, and its involvement with Liberty Park promises another appealing option for families who want to raise their families in a safe, attractive community in Camden,” said Harvey Johnson, a partner with Duane Morris LLP and attorney for Tryko Partners. “It will complement the wonderful progress the city and housing authority have made in the redevelopment of the entire Centerville/Liberty Park neighborhood.”
As will be the case at Liberty Park Townhomes, Tryko’s work at Crestbury Apartments included the in-depth involvement of Camden officials, including Mayor Dana Redd and her staff. “These projects illustrate the benefits of successful public/private partnership,” Kahanow said “For us, experiencing the city’s commitment and progress toward revitalization first hand made us eager to expand our involvement here.”
Tryko’s achievements at Crestbury Apartments also contributed to its successfully financing the Liberty Park Townhomes acquisition through Community Preservation Corporation (CPC) and Freddie Mac, according to Chad Buchanan, chief investment officer. “Jessica Mui and Doug Olcott from CPC supported us on this transaction from the start,” he said. “They understood what we have been able to accomplish at Crestbury – and how we will implement many of those same plans at Liberty Park. Additionally, Freddie Mac has demonstrated its commitment to affordable housing by prioritizing subsidized housing. This will help ensure the continued preservation of affordable housing nationwide, but in particular high-need areas such as Camden.”
Based in Brick, N.J., Tryko Partners specializes in project-based, Section 8 Homeowners Assistance Program (HAP) transactions. The firm’s 7,200-unit multifamily portfolio includes more than 3,900 affordable units along the Eastern Seaboard and in the Midwest. Affordable Housing Finance recognized the firm among the nation’s top 10 companies for completing rehabilitations in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, and among the top 10 for completing acquisitions in 2012, 2013 and 2014; Multifamily Executive named Tryko among the nation’s “Top 25 Renovators” in 2013 and 2014; and Commercial Property Executive named the firm among its 2014 and 2015 Top Property Managers. The organization also invests in healthcare facilities and tax liens.