Foreclosed Bronx Buildings Have a New Owner

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There's a new landlord for 10 distressed Bronx apartment buildings that had become victims of the housing bust.

The so-called Milbank buildings have been falling into disrepair since the private equity group Milbank Real Estate defaulted on its $35 million mortgage two years ago.

Now, a new company, led by real estate manager Steven Finkelstein, is buying them for $27.75 million. He's expected to spend at least another $7 million to make immediate repairs.

"I find these buildings to be superior in quality to many in the Bronx," said Finkelstein at Tuesday's press conference. "Once I get them up to par I'm going to be able to provide affordable housing to people and you know keep things going in a very positive manner."

Another company had offered more money, but City Council Speaker Christine Quinn moved to block that sale, saying the resulting debt would require a boost in rents. Finkelstein has promised not to raise rents significantly for two years for tenants current on their rent. More than one thousand residents live in the buildings.