Caspi Development, Black Bear Join Forces

NEW YORK CITY—Caspi Development and Black Bear Asset Management have entered a strategic partnership to acquire multifamily properties in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Through the partnership, Caspi will act as property developer and operator, with BBAM serving as the capital provider for all projects.

“Our company has a long history of identifying distressed and underutilized properties with untapped potential and we were looking for a partner to help us expand this work,” says Joshua Caspi, principal of Caspi Development. “Black Bear Asset Management’s resources will allow us to purchase, revitalize and reintroduce these properties, enhancing the residential and commercial offerings to some of the most in-demand areas of New York City.”

Both firms have made over $31 million in recent real estate acquisitions. Through the partnership, the companies recently purchased 72, 74 and 104 Forsyth St.—a three-building portfolio on the Lower East Side—from Marolda Properties. Arthur Bellini, managing partner of BBAM, along with Joshua Caspi and Andrew Caspi of Caspi Development, led the over $24 million purchase in a joint venture.

The buildings feature a total of 56 market-rate and rent-stabilized units and nine retail spaces. In addition to being the primary equity source, BBAM also acted in an advisory capacity for the project, placing the debt with Signature Bank and SoundMark Partners.

“Both Caspi Development and Black Bear Asset Management believe in the continued development of neighborhoods like the Lower East Side,” adds Bellini. “We look forward to a long future of creating commercial and residential opportunities that offer best-in-class levels of service with Caspi Development.”

The Forsyth Street deal comes on the heels of the partnership’s recent purchase of two properties in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn. Caspi and BBAM purchased 226 and 400 7th Ave., a two-building package, for $7 million from a private investor.

The buildings feature 12 market-rate and rent-stabilized apartments and four ground-floor retail spaces. Since the acquisition, the companies have renovated half of the units and three have already been leased. On the retail front, they have secured a lease with HANKI, a high-end hotdog concept restaurant from Korea scheduled to open in March.