From the December issue: In what may be an attempt to live up to its name, luxury condo developer Alchemy Properties plans to invest in the development and rehabilitation of distressed properties. With a new initiative in place to invest in the properties, Alchemy will target partially finished developments and overleveraged rental-to-condo conversions. Although the down market has spawned a number of distressed asset investment programs, Joel Breitkopf, a partner at Alchemy, said he’s confident that his firm’s initiative — it’s not a formal distressed asset fund — will stay ahead of the pack. He says that an understanding of the numbers behind residential development gives them an edge over other investors. “When a developer is under pressure, they tend to cut corners and their subcontractors tend to cut corners,” Breitkopf said. He said that his firm’s hands-on experience evaluating potential developments will help it avoid dangerous, poorly constructed investments.