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Castle Lanterra Properties announced Wednesday that it has acquired River Park, a 224-unit apartment community in Raritan, for $56 million.

The seller of River Park was a global insurance group, according to CLP. Cushman & Wakefield’s Metropolitan Area Capital Markets Group represented the seller and secured CLP as buyer.

“Having personally invested in a substantial number of apartment communities in New Jersey over the past 18 years, I knew the $250,000 per unit valuation at which we were able to acquire this immaculate property was a solid entry point,” Elie Rieder, CLP’s founder and CEO. “Historical sales of other competitive properties within this submarket have seen prices in the $275,000-285,000 range.”

“Currently, this property trails its competitive set in both occupancy and rent, even though no other properties in this submarket can offer the same level of amenities found at River Park. We believe there is an immediate opportunity to increase occupancy and rent to levels that are consistent within the marketplace, even before we commence our unit renovation program. We also intend on making improvements to the common areas, which will help to elevate the tenant experience,” James Brady, vice president of operations, said in a prepared statement.

According to Cushman & Wakefield’s Brian Whitmer, who spearheaded the River Park sale: “Multifamily is benefitting from the demographic shifts in favor of apartment living — people in search of a more urban lifestyle and a waning desire to own.

“Regional market fundamentals have remained strong and still point towards stability and positive rent growth. These are the reasons Northern New Jersey is on everyone’s radar. Active investors like CLP are targeting properties along the Hudson Gold Coast and west, following the train lines as they seek opportunities to either develop or buy existing communities in the towns serviced by rail.”