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SCOTTSDALE, AZ-Investment and advisory services company Everest Holdings has launched its multifamily platform with the hire of Michael Gusich as director of commercial property acquisitions. The company’s goal is to acquire between 5,000 and 10,000 units of 1980s and newer distressed product in the metro area within the next year to two years.

“The market opportunity in Phoenix is tremendous. We have 280,000 units in the market, approximately 65% of which traded hands during the past five years,” says Gusich, who came to Everest Holdings from Miami, FL-based Alterra Capital Group. “With values falling the way they have, anywhere from 40% to 50%, there will is a tremendous amount of inventory in the market that is in some form of distress, or soon will be.”

Gusich tells GlobeSt.com the acquisitions are being backed by a financial partner, though he declined to name the institution. He says Everest Holdings is searching for complexes of 150 units and more that are in good shape or with a value-add component. The company’s hold period is three to seven years.

He notes that the company already has a couple of deals in the work, and is picking up potential opportunities from banks, off-market purchases and trustee sales. His belief is that between the experience he and Everest Holdings president Joe Blackbourn has in the multifamily arena, the company should be quite successful in meeting its acquisition goal.

During his time with Alterra Capital Group, Gusich acquired 1,800 multifamily units during a two-year period. His career also features the completion of 80 acquisitions for a Fortune 500 media and entertainment company in New York City and $1 billion of debt financing at Bear Stearns, also based in Manhattan.

But now Gusich’s focus is in the desert southwest, which has taken somewhat of a pounding during the past 18 months. “At the end of the day, it will be new players who take advantage of opportunities, and who don’t have the legacy issues,” he adds.

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