Philadelphia Business Journal
By Michelle Caffrey
The Galman Group reached a milestone in its efforts to overhaul formerly struggling apartment complexes in Delaware, completing the the first phase of a $30 million renovation plan.
Jenkintown-based Galman Group spent $41 million to acquire two apartment communities in Newark in May 2019. The Lehigh Flats and Thorn Flats complexes, then considered Class B multifamily properties, were 75% vacant and sat in foreclosure.
With an eye on the University of Delaware’s growing Science Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus nearby, Galman decided to invest $30 million to reposition the apartments. In the past year, it’s renovated 180 units to update their floor plans, add bathrooms and install modern flooring, fixtures, cabinets and appliances, including in-unit washers and dryers.
Some 100 of the renovated units are at the 400-unit Thorn Flats complex and 80 are at the 300-unit Lehigh Flats community.
Lehigh Flats’ one- and two-bedroom units’ rental rates start at $1,074, and Thorn Flats’ studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units start at $989.
The project’s also nearly finished renovations to its shared spaces, including upgrading its clubhouse to include a fitness center, business lounge, pool, kitchen, fire pit and entertainment system.
Galman expects all units will be renovated in the fall of 2021.
The 272-acre STAR campus, about two miles from the apartment complexes, is home to a mix of academic spaces, clinical health care facilities and commercial offices and laboratories, including the Chemours Discovery Hub that employs about 340 people at the campus. More than 1 million square feet are either in-use or under construction at the campus, including a $38 million, 100,000 square-foot fintech building.
“Institutions in the science, technology, engineering and advanced research industries are drawn to Newark. As these sectors continue to grow their presence, The Galman Group wants to ensure their employees have a luxury option in the market,” Galman Group President Sam Goldstein said in a statement. “Pushing the boundaries of Newark’s residential market is a critical step in supporting the ongoing development of the STAR Campus, Christiana Care Health System and the University of Delaware.”
The Galman Group manages more than 9,000 units in southeastern Pennsylvania and northern Delaware. Of the 9,000 units, the firm owns 6,000.