June 17, 2024

Aker Cos., a commercial real estate firm in Dutchess County that has invested more than $400 million in the Albany region in less than a year, just added another property to its growing portfolio in the area.
The principals, Michael Amato and William Brocker, secured a mortgage to buy Ellsworth Commons on Route 9 in Malta for $65.5 million, according to filings in the Saratoga County clerk’s office.
JLL Real Estate Capital LLC of St. Paul, Minnesota, provided $23.2 million in financing.
The deal was finalized Sept. 20 with Eugene Rosen of Ellsworth Partners LLC, a retired CPA in Florida.
Rosen invested millions of dollars with former partners to build the mixed-used development a decade ago when the GlobalFoundries computer chip plant was being constructed less than two miles away.
The $60 million Ellsworth Commons — with 312 apartments spread across the upper floors of four buildings and 68,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space — marked a turning point in the growth of the small rural town.
Colloquially, some referred to it as the “GlobalFoundries dorm” because so many of the computer chip company’s initial employees rented apartments.
Today, there are many other options as the town’s apartment inventory has grown significantly along with the $15 billion chip plant, which employs about 2,600.
A $6 billion to $8 billion expansion is expected to create another 1,000 jobs.
Located just north of a roundabout at routes 9 and 67, Ellsworth Commons experienced growing pains as it struggled in the early years to fill the commercial storefronts.
Part of the challenge for businesses facing Route 9 was there wasn’t convenient parking in front. So, six years ago, 30 spaces were added there.
The current residential and commercial occupancy rates weren’t immediately available.
In July 2021, Rosen, agreed to pay $805,000 to resolve allegations he made improper payments regarding a federally backed mortgage for the mixed-use development and submitted a false statement to the Federal Housing Administration.
Rosen released the following statement at the time in response to the settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice: “I have personally invested in excess of $10 million in this project and I have not taken a penny from it. The so-called ‘equity skimming’ and ‘family trust accounts’ relate to loans from my family’s assets that I used to keep the project afloat after all other resources had been exhausted, but I did not personally benefit from those loans.”
Rosen couldn’t be reached for comment about the sale of the property. He marketed Ellsworth Commons through the property manager, Prime Cos. of Cohoes.
Representatives of Aker Cos. in Beacon have declined repeated requests by the Albany Business Review to discuss their investments in the Albany area, but it’s clear they see considerable value in the prices for real estate and the growth projections for residential and commercial rents.
They finalized the deal with Rosen less than three weeks after limited liability companies affiliated with Aker Cos. and other tenants in common paid $200 million for Winners Circle at Saratoga, a large townhouse-style apartment complex in the town of Milton.
Their other recent investments include the Mansions at Technology Park in Rensselaer and retail and residential properties formerly owned by Prime Cos. in Cohoes and Saratoga Springs, according to deed and mortgage filings.
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