Claudio Papapiertro for the Wall Street Journal

Benchmark Real Estate Group LLC has purchased 55 Third Ave. in Greenwich Village for $57 million.

The mixed-use property has 55 rental apartment units and 10,500 square feet of retail space. The current commercial tenants are the Smith, an American restaurant, Asian market M2M and NY Copy Printing Co.

The seller was 200 Eleventh Street Associates, which developed the building in 1986, according to property records. Los Angeles-based Mesa West Capital, a private portfolio lender, provided the financing.

Benchmark plans to invest money from its $45 million first mortgage to renovate and upgrade the apartment units and increase the retail space by 15% to 20%, said Russell Frahm, head of Mesa West’s New York origination team. Mesa West and Benchmark previously worked together in acquiring 320 East 22nd St. and 455 Hudson St.

Benchmark was founded in 2009 by Aaron Feldman and Jordan Vogel, who previously worked for CBRE Group Inc. broker Stephen Siegel’s SG2 Properties. The company has been active in Lower Manhattan, buying more than a dozen properties with a similar strategy of renovating older residential buildings and raising rents.

Rents for older one-bedroom units in Greenwich Village are around $3,500 a month, while apartments with new appliances in elevator-equipped buildings can top $5,000 a month, said Mr. Frahm.

New York City has been one of the most active multifamily markets in the country because of its high rents and the large number of local real-estate funds and institutional investors. New York transactions accounted for about a third of Mesa West’s $1.3 billion lending portfolio in 2013, said Mr. Frahm.

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