When the defaults come, the vulture investors get to work. Maverick Real Estate Partners announced on Thursday that it closed another fund that targets defaulted commercial mortgages in New York City. The latest fund has $200 million at its disposal, and appears to be the largest of Maverick’s distressed debt vehicles.
The announcement from the distressed private equity firm comes amid jitters about some segments of New York City real estate, particularly from those who believe the market may be near the end of the cycle. In 2017, the number of bank-owned commercial properties in New York City increased by 8 percent year-over-year, according to data from California-based research firm ATTOM Data Solutions.
Last May, Maverick bought $40 million in loans from Signature Bank that were backed by 31 properties controlled by Brooklyn investor Cheskel Strulowitz. Strulowitz was battling foreclosure proceedings amid accusations of running a Ponzi scheme. Maverick also sued the developer of a luxury condominium in Hudson Square to force a foreclosure sale of a portfolio and attempted to foreclose on Hans Futterman to gain control of five retail condos at 2280 Frederick Douglass Boulevard.
Maverick’s third fund closed in 2015 with $25.9 million committed. Its fourth fund’s closing last year nearly tripled that–with $75 million in commitments. There does not appear to be public information about its first two funds.
David Aviram, who co-founded Maverick in 2010 with Ted Martell, declined to comment. In a press release, Aviram said the firm’s specific investment focus “positions us well to capitalize on opportunities that will emerge in the later stages of the real estate cycle.”