NEW YORK CITY-Locally based investment firm the Bluestone Grouphas completed the acquisition of a three-building, 218-unit NorthBronx apartment complex worth $17.4 million. Separately, Bluestoneannounced it acquired four multifamily loans worth a total of $7million, all backed by Bronx apartment properties.

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Bluestone’s acquisition of the portfolio at 3138, 3150 and 3300Bailey Ave. in the Bronx was completed in a joint venture withLantower Realty LLC, a subsidiary of Toronto-based LanterraDevelopments. In a release, Bluestone principal Marc Mendelsohncites the company’s “reputation for closing deals quickly and withcertainty” as a factor in attracting JV partners. “There are manyinvestors who are looking to take advantage of the NYC distressedmulti-family market, but are lacking experience in the local marketor asset type.”

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City Department of Finance records show that Bluestone acquirednotes on the three properties this past May. “This is consistentwith our mission of purchasing distressed debt as a means toproperty ownership,” co-principal Eli Tabak said in a release thispast summer. “We believe there is a strong, continuing opportunityfor Bluestone to build a multifamily portfolio by purchasing loansin the distressed arena.”

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A Bluestone spokesman tells GlobeSt.com that following itspurchase of the Bailey Avenue loans, the company was approached byLantower to JV in a deal, “as they knew the borrower was activelymarketing the Bailey properties for sale. They purchased theproperties and ended up being on both sides of the deal.” Lantowerwas not a partner on the original note purchase.

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The debt acquisitions announced Wednesday included three loansfrom Dime Savings Bank secured by three apartment buildingstotaling 100 units and owned by California-based Millbank RealEstate and a note from Sovereign Bank secured by a 30-unit buildinglocated in the Bronx’s Soundview section. Tabak says in a releasethat via acquiring assets below the debt levels rather than atmarket prices, “it allows us to properly address the needs of theproperty and tenants. It is also consistent with our business modelof purchasing distressed debt secured by assets acquired at theheight of the market in overleveraged pro-forma basedtransactions.”

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