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Camber Property Group purchases pair of Bronx buildings

by: Eddie Small – The Real Deal

Mitchell-Lama buildings known as Carol Gardens are located at 820 and 880 Thieriot Avenue

Camber Property Group has bought two Bronx apartment buildings for $19 million, marking the first time that the properties have changed hands since they were built in 1968.

The company partnered with Maine-based LIHC Investment Group and San Francisco-based Belveron Partners on the purchase of the two Soundview buildings at 820 and 880 Thieriot Avenue from Starrett Corporation. It is the second major deal the firms have done together in the southeastern Bronx over the past few months, following Camber and LIHC’s $70.9 million purchase of Stevenson Commons from Belveron in July.

The two buildings, known as Carol Gardens, contain a total of 314 units. The property is a Mitchell-Lama complex, and the new owners will preserve its affordability for the long term in partnership with the city, according to Camber’s principal, Rick Gropper.

Camber, LIHC and Belveron are planning more than $20 million worth of renovations at the complex, which include restoring the buildings’ facades, replacing important mechanical systems and modernizing the elevators. They will also add a new security system, seal off an abandoned basement pool and upgrade individual apartments with new kitchens and bathrooms.

The developers are receiving about $25 million in senior debt from the New York City Housing Development Corporation and about $15 million in subsidies from the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. The new owners also anticipate receiving 150 Section 8 vouchers from the city, which will be used to subsidize rents for residents earning less than 80 percent of the Area Median Income.

Representatives for the city and Starrett did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Gropper said the purchase aligned with the development team’s interest in buying Mitchell-Lama properties.

“We think that they provide an opportunity to use some of the tools available to preservation buyers like us to invest capital,” he said, “and also work with the city to restructure the affordability and extend it for the long term.”

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