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Connecticut-based real estate firm acquires former Kushner-owned apartment complex in Middle River

A Connecticut-based real estate firm has acquired two rental housing complexes in Middle River for more than $96 million, including an apartment complex owned by the Kushner Cos., the real estate firm that had been led by former President Donald Trump’s son-in-law.

Kushner sold Whispering Woods in Baltimore County for $64 million to Stamford-based OneWall Partners, an owner and manager of transit-oriented and suburban workforce housing in the Northeast, OneWall said Tuesday. It invested in the 524-town-house complex in a joint venture with Columbia-based Enterprise Community Partners, an affordable housing nonprofit.

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OneWall also announced the acquisition of a second Middle River community, Oak Grove Apartments & Townhomes, for $32.5 million from Morgan Properties, the nation’s largest private multifamily housing owner.

Kushner said in March that it was selling about half its Baltimore-area apartment complexes, including those mentioned in a complaint filed by the Maryland attorney general’s office for its alleged mistreatment of tenants.

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Two Northeast Baltimore rental town-house properties, Dutch Village and Pleasantview, sold in late February for $69.3 million to an undisclosed buyer. Those two properties and Whispering Woods went on the market in late October, part of a portfolio of 10 multifamily complexes owned by Kushner, the firm formerly headed by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Laurent Morali, president of Kushner Cos., said in March the company had pending deals to sell Whispering Woods and six other multifamily properties, including one in Prince George’s County and the rest in Baltimore County.

Maryland’s attorney general’s office had accused Kushner’s apartment management company, Westminster Management, of committing serious violations of consumer protection laws, based on tenants’ allegations of substandard conditions and improper fees.

In a case that dates to 2019, lawyers in Democratic Attorney General Brian Frosh’s consumer protection division filed a brief with an administrative law judge in early February outlining complaints by current and former renters at Westminster-managed apartment complexes in the Baltimore area.

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An adminstrative judge ruled last month that Westminster violated Maryland’s consumer protection laws numerous times at Baltimore-area properties by collecting debts without the required licenses, charging tenants improper fees and misrepresenting the condition of rental units.

In a 252-page decision, Administrative Law Judge Emily Daneker found that violations by Westminster Management and the company JK2 were “widespread and numerous.”

But the judge also found the state failed to show the companies violated the law by misrepresenting their ability to provide maintenance services. She also said they were not committing some violations during the entire period alleged by the division.

The Kushner Cos., which had said the consumer protection division targeted it with “politically motivated abuse,” characterized the judge’s decision as vindicating Westminster, which it owns. Jared Kushner was a senior White House adviser in the administration of his Republican father-in-law.

The portfolio sale that included Kushner’s Whispering Woods represents just a portion of the company’s Maryland holdings.

OneWall has rebranded Whispering Woods as Hopkins Point and said the complex is 98% occupied.

Middle River and other Baltimore submarkets are expected to continue to strengthen as the economy recovers, said Andy Wallace, OneWall Partners’ CEO and principal.

“We’ve been tracking the Maryland market for some time and felt Hopkins Point Townhomes presented the perfect opportunity to enter the region with some scale,” Wallace said in an announcement.

OneWall said it is committed along with Enterprise to making a positive social impact to the community and plans to improve Hopkins Point physically, cosmetically and operationally.

“In a community like Hopkins Point where hundreds of households have put down roots, we’re excited to partner with OneWall to keep rents affordable and make upgrades for the long-term,” said Chris Herrmann, senior vice president of Enterprise.

At OakGrove, OneWall said it plans to spend more than $1 million over several years to upgrade exteriors and common areas and install air conditioning as units are renovated. The complex on 17 acres has 259 apartments and 88 town houses.

OneWall owns and manages more than 4,200 units of rental housing in Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

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