“New buyer brings a deal within reach for 10 dilapidated Bronx apartment buildings”: New York Daily News

As published in the New York Daily News, by Daniel Beekman

The nightmare could be over for tenants at 10 of the Bronx’s worst slums – a local landlord is poised to buy the dangerously dilapidated buildings abandoned by a Los Angeles speculator.

“I’m holding my breath,” said Peter Silva, a tenant at 2501 Aqueduct Ave. in Fordham. “We want to move forward.”

The city and tenant advocates have yet to bless the $28 million deal, but Scarsdale investor Steve Finkelstein, who already owns about 30 Bronx properties, has vowed to renovate eight of the buildings, cap rent hikes for two years and not pursue back rent. He hopes to resell the two smallest buildings to a buyer approved by the city.

The tenants and their advocates aren’t completely sold on Finkelstein, who has promised to mend 80% of the housing violations at the buildings in three months.

They say the would-be landlord’s $28 million bid is too high and he isn’t allocating enough for repairs.

The 10 West Bronx buildings have racked up more than 4,000 violations for vermin, broken pipes and collapsed floors.

The tenants and their advocates believe the buildings – purchased by Milbank Real Estate in 2007 during the housing boom – need a $20million fixup.

February 11, 2011

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