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Finding Upside in Real Estate’s Downturn

By Ben Steverman - 2011-09-27T18:19:45Z

11 of 15

Cashing Out Tenants

TriArch Real Estate Group's investing strategy is based on New York City's housing regulations, which can protect tenants from rent increases. Founders Ben Zises and Chris DeAngelis buy apartment buildings in upper Manhattan's Washington Heights neighborhood, which they say has less competition from "downtown" real estate players. They then offer rent-protected tenants cash to move out. They renovate the apartments and charge much higher market-rate rents. Because prices have fallen and interest rates are low, "now's the time to buy," DeAngelis says. "Our plan is to gobble up as much as we can in the next 12 to 24 months." The risks, he says: rising heating fuel prices and changes in rent regulations.

Photograph by Getty Images