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Debt & Equity

BBAM investment firm sets stage for growth with flurry of new deals

New York-based investment firm Black Bear Asset Management LLC (BBAM) announced a suite of new investments that signal the start of its ambitious 2017 strategy.

BBAM, acting as advisor and principal investor, closed several significant deals in the final months of 2016.

In December 2016, BBAM closed a $27 million refinancing of a 23-unit residential apartment building with a total valuation of $60MM in Midtown Manhattan.

The property, on 55th Street just off of Fifth Avenue, includes approximately 8,000 s/f of retail space. In addition to building out the retail component to suit high-end retailers, the sponsors plan to use the refinancing proceeds to upgrade the façade, apartment interiors, and building mechanicals.

Rendering of 164 74th Street
Rendering of 164 74th Street

In November 2016, BBAM provided $9.45 million in preferred equity to a full-service real estate developer to transform a landmarked Beaux-Arts building on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.  The project — located at 164 West 74th Street — has a total capitalization of $51,000,000.

According to New York YIMBY, Prime Rok Real Estate in partnership with Greystone Development is converting the former headquarters of drug-and-alcohol rehab nonprofit the Phoenix House into a boutique residential condominium after buying the building last year for $26.8 milion.

BBAM also closed a $7.3 million refinancing of two residential apartment buildings with a total valuation of $12.5 million, both with two ground-floor retail tenants, in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn.

Since acquisition, the sponsors have repositioned two of the retail tenants and upgraded several rent-stabilized units to free market.

In addition, BBAM provided advisory services on multiple debt-related investments totaling $250 million.  This collection of transactions sets the stage to scale BBAM’s strategy, centered on a balance of strategic equity and debt investments.

In the coming months, BBAM plans to grow its footprint in the greater New York City area by issuing more than $100 million in preferred equity, mezzanine debt and other structured credit investments in the $2 million to $25 million range.

“We plan to scale by continuing to deploy our signature investment philosophy coupled with a focus on mid-market relationship lending,” says Arthur D. Bellini, Managing Partner at BBAM.

“As the metropolitan real estate market approaches a plateau, subordinate debt provides attractive risk-adjusted returns more senior in the capital structure than equity investments and Black Bear Asset Management is well-positioned to take advantage of market opportunities, as well.”
BBAM was founded in 2008 by Bellini and William Fung.

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