Legacy By Grace

D.C.-area investors snap up portfolio of 200-plus Baltimore houses, apartment buildings

A portfolio of more than 250 single- family houses, rowhomes and apartment units spread across nearly 20 Baltimore neighborhoods were sold to Washington, D.C.-area investors.

Riparian Capital Partners of Chevy Chase acquired the 272-property portfolio for $22.3 million on Wednesday. It was the group’s first move toward ownership of rental properties in the local market, according to the lead broker in the

sale. Riparian continues to scout other rental unit acquisitions in the city with a goal of owning 2,000 properties by 2025, broker Ari Azarbarzin said.

The seller for a majority of the units, Balt Rentals Dot Com LLC, is exiting the market and unloading the properties it acquired over a decade.

The houses and apartment units were listed for sale a year ago. They are spread across 18 high-profile Baltimore communities with 45 properties located in North Baltimore, 26 properties in Pigtown, 30 units in Federal Hill and South Baltimore, 27 in Charles Village and 22 in Bolton and Reservoir Hill — to name a few.

Azarbarzin was the listing agent who made the deal while at Greysteel. He is now a broker at Cushman & Wakefield.

“The units are 90% occupied,” Azarbarzin said, in an interview with the Baltimore Business Journal this week. “The buyers were drawn to the market because we are still the value play in Baltimore when related to neighbors in Philly, D.C. and New York. Many of the renters in these units work for large anchor institutions like academics and health care and are very resilient as tenants.”

Kris Garin, CEO of Riparian Capital Partners, was unavailable to comment. Garin also founded Good Food Markets, a company that installs small grocery stores in food deserts.

The sale of the large and wide-ranging geographic portfolio was stalled by the Covid-19 pandemic, Azarbarzin said. But the buyers persisted, and the settlement took place on Tuesday afternoon.

“The buyers were able to acquire a large bulk transaction of single family rentals in a single transaction, which is quite rare in the market,” he said. “They benefited from a hands-on and professional seller and they will continue to grow in Baltimore.”