The Surreal Estate

Perspectives on Tenant Organizing from the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board

Tag Archives: housing code violations

The Real Deal: “Bluestone sells former Ocelot Bronx portfolio for $17.6M”

The real estate investment firm the Bluestone Group, which denied for months it would unload a six-building portfolio of once severely distressed Bronx properties, sold the package for $17.6 million, a source close to the deal said.

The sale closed yesterday as part of a bankruptcy case filed by the former ownership company BXP 1, controlled by investor Susumu Endo. The buyer was Anthony Gazivoda, owner of Gazivoda Realty, a prominent landlord in the Bronx Albanian community, an employee at Gazivoda said. Gazivoda himself was not immediately available for comment.

Bluestone, led by principals Eli Tabak, Ari Bromberg and Marc Mendelsohn, purchased the defaulted notes on the six properties, with a face value of $13.15 million, for about $10 million in June 2010, according to city property records.

Tabak, speaking for Bluestone, declined to comment on the sale.

Bluestone, formed in 2006, has been an active player in the distressed real estate market, especially through note purchases.

The Bronx units were in terrible condition in 2010, with Crain’s reporting in July last year that there were 2,936 housing code violations on the buildings’ 260 units, or 11.3 violations per unit. Yesterday there were 334 housing code violations, or 1.3 per unit, the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development website shows.

Read more at The Real Deal.


Today’s Update: Organizers in Cuffs?

We’re on our way to a first tenant meeting in Harlem. The building has 194 Housing Code Violations, on 26 units, so it more than qualifies for the statutory definition of distressed (3 or more code violations per unit.)

We just got a phone call, from “Ralph,” who claims to be both a real estate broker and friend of the management. He claimed he was saving us from the wrath of the management company, but he still managed to swear up and down, belittle UHAB AND the tenants in the building, and promise me that Elyssa and I would be leaving the building in cuffs.

We’re ready – armed with copies of the tenants right to organize. Check back tomorrow for videos of crazy landlords and stories – hopefully not of a night in jail.

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