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Catalano Kornblum forms asset advisory company.

Catalano Kornblum forms assest advisory company

Catalano Kornblum Development Corp. has formed Realty Asset Advisors, Inc. (RAA), an asset management and investment advisory firm. RAA will raise investor capital through affiliates, and acquire and/or manage select "troubled" real estate assets in joint-venture arrangements, sometimes with the sellers.

"White knighthood is a growth industry," said Peter J. Catalano, an architect and a principal of Catalano Kornblum. "Those who have the resources, skills, track record and conservative instincts to bring viable projects back to life will find many opportunities in the current environment. We fit that profile very well."

Catalano Kornblum, which Catalano co-founded with Michael Kornblum, a mechanical engineer, acquired nearly two million square feet of Manhattan commercial space south of 42nd Street in the 1980s and raised the aggregate occupancy rate from about 30 percent to the current level of 96 percent.

The flagships among its properties are 230 Park Avenue South, fully occupied by Burson-Marsteller, the giant public relations firm, which is a subsidiary of Young & Rubicam; and 1412 Broadway, known as The Fashion Gallery Building, home of The Leslie Fay Companies, one of the nation's largest apparel manufacturers, and the Escada U.S.A. apparel group.

Realty Asset Advisors is headed by managing director Patrick F. O'Malley, former senior vice president and Northeast regional manager of the Balcor subsidiary of American Express.

"Financial entities, includlng the federal Resolution Trust Corp., are not equipped for the business of owning and operating real estate," says Mr. O'Malley. "Although much of what they hold is below investment grade, many of their assets are high quality and have exceptional potential for eventual turn-around in the right hands.

O'Malley emphasizes that RAA's investment partnerships will not have the same objectives as the so-called vulture funds formed in recent years.

"The vulture funds are looking basically to snap up highly distressed properties at rock-bottom prices, especially in the Southwest," he explained. "That's not our objective. We want prime locations and high quality in diversified urban economies where developable land is scarce and prospects for new construction are severely limited.
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Title Annotation:Catalano Kornblum Development Corp. and Realty Asset Advisors Inc.
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Jun 12, 1991
Words:346
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