Invasion Of The Bottom Fishers

The real estate market these days looks like a bottomless pit. The glut of unsold homes and unrented commercial space has led to ungodly declines in value. But some venturesome investors view the pit as a wellspring of opportunity, a time to buy cheap. They are scarfing up holdings that foreclosing lenders or pressed owners want to unload, then waiting for a market rebound. Says New York investor Arthur Shapolsky, who is buying what he sees as a bargain office building in Tucson: "In the next three years, new real estate empires will be created, and fortunes will be made."

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