Embattled NJ developer files for bankruptcy

National Realty Investment Advisors has projects from Brooklyn to Florida; authorities circling

Rey Grabato along with several NRIA projects (LinkedIn/Rey Grabato, NRIA, iStock)
Rey Grabato along with several NRIA projects (LinkedIn/Rey Grabato, NRIA, iStock/Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal)

National Realty Investment Advisors, a troubled developer with projects in Brooklyn, Florida, New Jersey and Philadelphia, has filed for bankruptcy.

The New Jersey-based firm filed for Chapter 11 protection in federal court last week in Newark, filings show. It listed assets worth between $50 million and $100 million, along with liabilities of $500 million to $1 billion.

The move comes as National Realty Investment Advisors is reportedly under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as financial regulators in New Jersey, Alabama and Illinois.

The independent manager overseeing the case on behalf of the company, Brian Casey of real estate financial advisory firm The Casey Group, could not be immediately reached for comment.

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Founded in 2006, the bankrupt builder focuses on condo, townhome and multifamily development and investment and had $1.25 billion in assets under management as of the second quarter of 2020, according to its LinkedIn page.

The private company’s website lists more than a dozen projects in Brooklyn in neighborhoods including Cobble Hill, Park Slope and Crown Heights, along with numerous developments beyond New York in various stages of completion.

In March of last year, the FBI reportedly arrested portfolio manager Nick Salzano after an hours-long standoff outside his New Jersey home. He was charged with faking a $25 million loan guarantee while trying to defraud a California woman out of $150,000, according to the publication Regulatory Compliance Watch.

The company came under further scrutiny in September when the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that authorities were investigating it.

Company CEO Rey Grabato reportedly stepped down six weeks ago.