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Roundup: Investor buys Leechburg apartment building; gasoline futures rise; more

| Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

New Jersey investor adds Sandalwood to area holdings

Tryko Partners of Brick, N.J., added to its apartment holdings in the Pittsburgh region with the purchase of the 86-unit Sandalwood Apartments in Leechburg, Armstrong County, from American Housing Partners Inc. The purchase price was not disclosed. Sandalwood, a Section 8 complex, consists of 16 buildings with mostly two- and three-bedroom apartments. Marcus & Millichap served as broker in the transaction, and CBRE Capital Markets provided the financing. Sandalwood joins 1,500 other apartment units in the region owned by Tryko. They include the 436-unit Fox Hill Apartments in Monroeville, the 280-unit Crafton Heights town homes in Pittsburgh's Crafton Heights area, the 60-unit Palisades Manor in Rankin, and the Emerald Garden, formerly called Westgate Village, in the city's West End. Tryko also owns the 100-unit Westview in New Castle.

Gasoline futures hit 3-month high

Gasoline futures jumped to the highest level in more than three months because supplies in the Northeast may fall on refinery shutdowns and demand will be greater during the holiday season. Delta Air Lines Inc.'s Pennsylvania refinery, which serves the New York Harbor delivery point for futures contracts, plans to shut units next week for work. AAA said the number of automobile travelers from Dec. 21 to Jan. 1 will increase to a record 85.8 million. Gasoline for January delivery rose to $2.82 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest settlement since Sept. 6. The futures have climbed 5.1 percent this month.

Empire State Building investors file suit

Thousands of stakeholders in the Empire State Building lost more than $400 million in possible profit when the managing owners rebuffed potential buyers in order to sell public shares in the iconic skyscraper, a lawsuit said. By spurning all-cash offers for the tower and instead packaging it with lesser-known office properties into a publicly traded stock, father-and-son real estate magnates Peter and Anthony Malkin put their interests ahead of those of the building's longtime investors, attorney John Rizio-Hamilton said on Thursday. He represents one of those investors, who filed the lawsuit seeking class-action status on behalf of 3,000 people who hold Empire State Building shares that were sold privately in 1961. The Malkins' company, Empire State Realty Trust, said through a spokeswoman that the lawsuit's claims were “wholly without merit.”

30-year mortgage rate rises to 4.48%

Average rates for fixed mortgages crept higher this week but remained low by historical standards. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said on Thursday that the rate on the 30-year loan increased to 4.48 percent from 4.47 percent last week. The average on the 15-year fixed loan rose to 3.52 percent from 3.51 percent. Mortgage rates peaked at 4.6 percent in August and are sharply higher than they were a year ago when the 30-year fixed rate was 3.35 percent and the 15-year was 2.65 percent.

— Staff and wire reports

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