The Real Deal Miami

Miller, Guterman and Westwood Capital join forces in new condo conversion venture

December 23, 2009 10:34AM

Jonathan Miller, head of Miller Samuel, and Daniel Alpert, a founding managing partner with Westwood Capital

Veteran appraiser Jonathan Miller is teaming up with boutique investment bank Westwood Capital and Gerald Guterman, the apartment building owner and manager, in a new venture to convert $1 billion in new, distressed condo projects to rental apartments. The trio, dubbing themselves Condominium Recovery LLC, plans to make bulk purchases from struggling banks, starting with New York City and South Florida. “The whole question is, especially after all of the reserves are gone, do you take the unlimited liability and run with it, or do you deal with someone who has credibility and has the funds, and sell it to them on a reasonable basis, which today is a rental basis?” said Guterman, who has owned or managed more than 60,000 apartments over the past four decades. The group is looking to make an average 10 percent return on the properties, which it plans to hold onto for about four years apiece. After that, they could create a real estate investment trust or sell the rentals as co-ops or condos. [Reuters]