WASHINGTON, Nov. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Multi-Employer Property Trust (MEPT) (www.mept.com), along with its real estate advisor, Bentall Kennedy, is pleased to announce plans to develop a 35-story, 165-unit apartment building in Manhattan. MEPT, a $5.3 billion open-end commingled real estate equity fund, has committed over $100 million in equity to build the project. Bentall Kennedy, on behalf of MEPT, will work with an experienced project team, including Urban Development Partners as Developer, Lend Lease as General Contractor and SLCE Architects as Project Architect.
Located at 309 Fifth Avenue, on the east side of Fifth Avenue between E. 31st and 32nd Streets, the project has a modern, functional and innovative design intended to provide a wide variety of amenities and features for residents. The building will total 122,000 square-feet, including 10,400 square feet of retail space on the street and basement levels. The building will provide 24-hour doorman/concierge services, a well-equipped fitness center, bike storage, a rooftop landscaped terrace, and convenient access to four subway stations and Penn Station. The residential units will feature stainless steel appliances, in-unit stacked washer-dryers, hardwood floors, individually controlled heating and cooling units, and nine-foot ceilings. In addition, many units will have cityscape views, including views of the Empire State Building.
"MEPT has built three apartment buildings in New York and we are pleased that market conditions now support new construction. As with our previous investments, 309 Fifth Avenue provides MEPT with an attractive opportunity to create value for its investors. Currently, there is a limited pipeline of new projects and over the past year there has been positive net absorption of the existing apartment inventory. As a result, vacancy rates have been trending lower and strong effective rent growth is anticipated," noted David Antonelli, Executive Vice President at Bentall Kennedy. "Further, we believe demand for new apartments will remain strong for the foreseeable future due to demographic and economic trends, including the large population of "Echo Boomers" - 19-34 year olds - entering the workforce who will likely be renters, and an overall decline in homeownership rates."
In keeping with MEPT's commitment to Responsible Property Investing, 309 Fifth Avenue is designed to achieve U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) Certification. The project will create more than 1,000 green jobs and it will generate over $265 million in economic activity for New York City.
"New York is a target market for MEPT. On behalf of the Fund, we are also actively looking for multi-family development opportunities in other major markets across the U.S. MEPT has a project underway in Seattle and has development projects under consideration in Chicago, Minneapolis and Los Angeles," stated Marty Standiford, Senior Vice President, Bentall Kennedy. "Our near-term focus continues to be on acquiring multi-family assets in urban markets, grocery-anchored retail centers in urban infill or established suburban neighborhoods, and high-quality CBD office properties."
Multi-Employer Property Trust (MEPT) is a $5.3 billion, open-end commingled real estate equity fund that invests in a diversified portfolio of institutional-quality real estate assets in 30 major metropolitan markets across the U.S. Founded in 1982, MEPT is owned by more than 360 multi-employer, public employee and corporate pension plans. Signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment, MEPT is recognized as a pioneer in Responsible Property Investing (RPI) and is ranked #1 in the Americas and #5 globally for environmental performance by GRESB.
MEPT is managed by three firms: NewTower Trust Company (www.newtowertrust.com), of Bethesda, Maryland serves as the trustee of the Fund. Bentall Kennedy serves as the exclusive real estate investment advisor to MEPT. Landon Butler & Company, LP® (www.lbutler.com) of Washington, D.C. provides investor relations and marketing services to MEPT.
About Bentall Kennedy
Bentall Kennedy is one of North America's largest real estate investment advisors. We are also Canada's largest property manager, providing comprehensive real estate services to our clients. Bentall Kennedy serves the interests of more than 500 clients across 142 million square feet of office, retail, industrial, residential and hotel properties totaling $26 billion throughout North America. Bentall Kennedy has a 100-year track record of delivering superior returns and a reputation for integrity, innovation, and creating value. Bentall Kennedy is a member of UN PRI and is a recognized global leader in Responsible Property Investing. With dual headquarters in the U.S. and Canada, Bentall Kennedy serves as the exclusive real estate investment advisor to MEPT. For more information, visit www.bentallkennedy.com.
Pamela Silberman, SVP, Landon Butler & Company, MEPT Investor Relations/Media
Forward looking statements are subject to change due to market conditions or investment strategy execution, and past performance is not indicative of future results. Any assumptions should not be construed to be indicative of the actual events that will occur.
SOURCE Multi-Employer Property Trust