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BOSTON-Residential condominium construction has been hit hard by the capital market crunch and housing crisis, but not every developer is standing pat, as evidenced by the $3.2 million purchase of 409 Beacon St. by the Hamilton Cos. The veteran Boston-based real estate firm is pushing ahead to convert the apartment building into 10 condominiums, units which Hamilton President Carl Valeri says will be priced from $600,000 to $800,000.

“You can’t be afraid,” Valeri says in explaining why Hamilton is pursuing residential ventures throughout the region despite the slowdown, having bid on one multifamily package valued at close to $100 million and another luxury apartment building featuring nearly 200 units. On the development side, Hamilton is angling to convert an office building in the Downtown Crossing district into residential condos, and is nearing completion on another Beacon Street conversion that has already seen the penthouse fetch $7 million. Two more of the five units at 132-134 Beacon St. are each under agreement for $3 million, says Valeri.

Given that track record a few blocks away from 409 Beacon St., Valeri expresses confidence there will be willing takers for the units to be created in the renovation. Hamilton will make improvements to the façade, as well as modernize mechanical systems and overhaul bathrooms and kitchens. “There are plenty of buyers out there for this type of product,” says Valeri, including the empty nesters that downtown condominium developers have been counting on in recent years. Although the dour housing climate has made it harder for those prospects to sell their homes and go the condo route, Valeri says there remains enough demand to fill the limited units in core locations. “There’s only so much available in the Back Bay,” says Valeri.

In Boston for nearly 55 years since its founding by well-known landlord Harold Brown, the Hamilton Co. owns a mix of commercial and residential properties throughout Greater Boston, including dozens of apartment assets totaling in excess of 5,000 units. “We are busy,” Valeri says of the firm’s platform on both the development and investment side while also relaying that Hamilton is bumping up against plenty of other players vying for multifamily. “We are not alone,” he says, with competitors reportedly having offered more for the portfolio valued close to $100 million and the apartment building Hamilton had pursued. Valeri declined to identify those properties.

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