Newly launched SKS Realty Partners of Rockville has joined with MRK Partners of Los Angeles to acquire Amber Commons, a 198-unit garden apartment community in Gaithersburg for $51.5 million.
Over the next year, the partnership plans to convert the property to affordable housing utilizing Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) syndication. The seller, RST Development, was represented by CBRE.
Amber Commons offers apartments with one, two and three bedrooms. Some apartments have dens and all have balconies or terraces. The community was built in 1968 and gut-renovated in 2009. The new ownership plans to invest approximately $8 million to upgrade individual apartments and common areas.
Located within the I-270 Technology Corridor at 7 Prism Place, the community provides convenient access to public transportation, extensive retail and entertainment amenities, and major employers such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Johns Hopkins-Montgomery County, and Adventist Healthcare at Shady Grove Medical Center. Residents enjoy a swimming pool with sundeck, clubhouse, fitness center, business center and playground.
Although SKS is focused on the acquisition of market-rate multifamily assets, SKS Managing Partner Kevin Smith said the company was able to consider alternative uses for Amber Commons because of its partnership with MRK. He added the transaction is a great opportunity to provide a well-located and attractive community as an affordable option to Montgomery County residents.
Sydne Garchik, founder and president of MRK Partners, said the project’s intent of converting to Amber Commons to an affordable housing community will ensure that the existing residents can remain in place for the long term and not have to worry about being priced out of an otherwise expensive market.
SKS was founded in mid-2021 by Smith, Steve Garchik and Sydne Garchik. The new company is primarily focused on acquiring market-rate multifamily properties throughout the mid-Atlantic and Southeast markets.