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A&E Real Estate takes 3 more properties in Brooklyn buying spree – Crain’s New York Business

Midtown Manhattan-based A&E Real Estate, which has become one of the city’s biggest rental landlords despite being founded just 11 years ago, has put the finishing touches on its latest large-scale acquisition.

Three buildings in southern Brooklyn acquired from the LeFrak Organization as part of a 14-property, $249 million trade hit the City Register on Wednesday. Containing a mix of market-rate and rent-regulated units, the three buildings are 2750 Homecrest Ave., 2375 Third St. and 2815 Coyle St., which are located around the Sheepshead Bay area. They sold for a total of $82 million.


Overall, the 14 LeFrak buildings, many of which are red-brick mid-rises, contain a total of 1,212 homes. The deal, for which Signature Bank contributed $170 million, closed last week; the rest of the transactions are expected to hit public records shortly. LeFrak Organization, itself a major rental player, developed the buildings in the late 1950s as a part of a push to bring middle-class multifamily housing to the outer boroughs.

A&E’s chairman, Douglas Eisenberg, was not available for an interview. And an email sent to LeFrak was not returned. But in an earlier statement, Eisenberg nodded to the firm’s aggressive strategy.

“As long-term believers in the enduring strength of New York City and its bedrock residential neighborhoods,” he said, “we have been undeterred by the economic, regulatory and pandemic-related uncertainties that have periodically sent other multifamily investors to the sidelines.”

Co-founded in 2011 by John Arrillaga and Eisenberg—the “A” and “E” of the name—the company now owns about 20,000 apartments in 300 buildings in every borough but Staten Island.

In the spring A&E snapped up Cunningham Heights, a 22-building, garden-style complex in Holliswood, Queens, for $130 million. The seller was the Benjamin Cos. Another recent purchase was of the leasehold interest at 1080 Amsterdam Ave., a 96-unit prewar tower near Columbia University, for $42.5 million. SL Green Realty was its seller. A&E’s portfolio also includes rentals in Rego Park and Jackson Heights in Queens, and Harlem in Manhattan.

Last year the privately-held firm tapped James Patchett, the former head of the city’s Economic Development Corp., to be A&E’s chief executive officer.

Before founding A&E, Eisenberg worked for Urban American Management, a New Jersey company helmed by his father, Philip Eisenberg. In 2014 Urban American and other investors reportedly sold a huge stake in a portfolio encompassing Upper Manhattan and Roosevelt Island rental buildings for about $1 billion.

LeFrak, a four-generation firm, was once known for developing middle-class apartments including at LeFrak City, a 4,600-unit project in Corona, Queens. But in recent years the company has created more-upscale rentals, like in Jersey City’s Newport neighborhood.


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