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Chairman, Multifamily InvestorTM Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

New York’s Premier Apartment Building Broker SM
Newsletter | First Quarter 2010                                                                                        



Choose The Wrong Tenant?                                                                How To Protect Your Apartment
LOSE YOUR LIFE.                                                                         Buildings From Uncle Sam
                                                                                        After You Die
Firefighters run into burning buildings. Police officers apprehend violent crimi-       You worked hard to run your apartment building holdings. You’re not planning
nals. They knowingly face the risk of death. Apartment building owners provide          on giving it away to the state, or the federal government. You want your children
shelter to their tenants. At the risk of stating the obvious, there should be no dan-   and grandchildren to have what you worked for. Without proper estate planning,
ger in that. Unfortunately, unstable tenants have not only refused to pay their rent    Uncle Sam and the State of New York may benefit upon your passing. What can
without cause. They have also killed the apartment building owners themselves           you do to protect your assets, multifamily and otherwise? I had the exclusive op-
– right here in New York.                                                               portunity to speak in depth with Daniel Yarmish, a trusts and estates attorney at
                                                                                        Loeb & Loeb LLP.
Page 2 >>                                                                               Page 3 >>

The 7% Solution                                                                         How To Keep Vultures Away
                                                                                        From Your Distressed Assets
You’re tired of managing your apartment building holdings. Rents are decreasing.        You bought an apartment building or development project in the last few
Maintenance is becoming more time-consuming. Tenants are demanding more                 years. How were you supposed to know the real estate market, stock market,
for less. Even if you sold, what would you do with the money?                           and credit market would all collapse at the same time? The stress weighs on
                                                                                        you night and day. What can you do?
Here is the prescription for that very problem: Walgreens. It’s the nation’s largest
drugstore chain with fiscal 2008 sales of $59 billion.
Page 4 >>                                                                               Page 7 >>

This publication, and any information contained herein, may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without Neil Gronowetter’s prior written permission.
Choose The
Wrong Tenant?

        merica ranks 24 in the world in murder, per capita. (Colombia is #1.)
        Perhaps, it’s no surprise then to find that tenants around the country
        have killed their owners. Recent examples around the country include:

• Jonathan Vanhook, a tenant in a Las Vegas apartment complex, brutally beat his
owner to death with a lead pipe.

• Methamphetamine addicts, Richard Carelli and Michele Pinkerton, murdered
their San Francisco-area owner after he commenced eviction proceedings
against them. They justified their crime because an eviction would have hurt
their chances of regaining custody of their daughter.

• Raymond Douglas, the British man who tried to murder his owner by drilling
through his skull with a power tool because he was asked to move out

Here is a recent, but by no means exhaustive, sampling of New York-area multi-
family owners who were killed in cold blood by their tenants:

• Paul Siddo, a father of four, was fatally shot in the face while sitting in his van in   him into his Midwood, Brooklyn home as a tenant, by beating him to death. Accord-
front of his Brownsville, Brooklyn apartment building. Andre Walker murdered               ing to the victim’s brother, the dispute was not over rent but transvestism: Sultan
Siddo after a dispute involving trash placement. Walker was not even a tenant,             tried to convince Goldstein not to cross-dress. When police apprehended Goldstein,
but the boyfriend of one, who left garbage and bicycles in the hallway.                    he was wearing women’s clothing. If Sultan was persuasive, it was short-term at best.
                                                                                           Goldstein pled guilty to first degree manslaughter.
• Lakeisha (or Latisha) Mills, a mother of two, and her two daughters, aged 4 and
1, died in a fire apparently set by an angry tenant. Firefighters found evidence of        • 45-year-old tenant, Walter Murphy, angry over water leaking into his apart-
arson at the Richmond Hill, Queens multifamily property. Mills, the granddaugh-            ment, fatally stabbed his owner, Stephen Stribula, after a dispute erupted in the
ter of the owner, had a dispute with an unnamed tenant, a purported crack addict,          owner’s Upper East Side office.
over unpaid rent, shortly before the arson. New York’s three major papers seem to
have made light of the fact that the fire was set for this very reason. They also          • A 65-year-old Brooklyn man fatally shot his owner, Angelo Roumeliotis, 65,
failed to name the suspect.                                                                and wounded the owner’s live-in companion, Anna Vareales, by shooting her
                                                                                           once in the jaw and once in the chest. The shooting followed an argument at
                                                                                           their Bay Ridge, Brooklyn multifamily. Both victims were immigrants from
                                                                                           Greece. The couple had lived on the quiet, tree-lined street for nearly 16 years.
          THESE MURDERS DID NOT JUST                                                       The New York Times article fails to mention the killer by name (again).

         OCCUR IN “BAD” NEIGHBORHOODS.                                                     These murders did not just occur in “bad” neighborhoods. Brooklyn’s Bay Ridge
                                                                                           and Midwood, Ridgewood, Queens, and the Upper East Side of Manhattan, are
                                                                                           not “bad” in any sense...Not to be confused with the recent New York tenants
                                                                                           who tried but failed to murder their owners:
• A tenant about to be evicted from his apartment in Middletown stabbed his
owner, Darryl Smith, to death. Tenant Stephen J. Condit then plunged the knife             • An angry tenant brutally decapitated his young pet boa then dumped the
into his own neck in a suicide attempt.                                                    carcass at his owner’s bedroom door before setting the house on fire. Jose Rios
                                                                                           torched the Central Islip multifamily property, then alerted the owner’s wife
• Keshawn McNeill murdered his girlfriend’s owner in the driveway of his                   before fleeing the smoky house.
Newark home, in a scheme to steal back her rent money. The shooting occurred
shortly after McNeil’s girlfriend, Staci Marshall, alerted him that she had just           • An unnamed tenant in a Canarsie, Brooklyn apartment building wielding a
paid Borges $1,250 in rent. McNeill was sentenced to life in prison.                       12-inch kitchen knife was shot to death by police inside her apartment after she
                                                                                           slashed an officer’s hands.
• 64 year-old Rosario Prestigiacomo was brutally stabbed to death in his
Ridgewood, Queens home. Police are exploring a simmering owner-tenant                      This may be: (1) an argument for hiring a management company; (2) enough
dispute. His murder remains unsolved.                                                      of a reason to sell your apartment building holdings, and buy a triple-net,
                                                                                           management-free property; (3) a statistical fluke that should cause no lost sleep.
* Michael Lorge, 42, a taxi dispatcher and Internet deejay, was shot twice in the          Caveat erus. Let the owner beware.
back of the head, as he sat in his car, parked in front of a Bronx apartment building
he owned in the Norwood section. The NYPD still holds a briefcase containing
documents for his then upcoming owner-tenant case. Lorge was not going to see
his attorney that day, but always kept the documents by his side. Lorge died with the            Did you know that “Multifamily Investor” is the
briefcase by his side after the gunman fled. His murder also remains unsolved.                   widest-circulating free multifamily quarterly in the
                                                                                                 United States?
• Panhandler Howard Goldstein repaid the kindness of Rahamim Sultan, who took | 2
                                                                                            DY: This produces a tremendous savings on estate tax.
                                                                                            First, Grandpa moves an asset worth almost $5 million—the 99% LLC interest—
                                                                                            to his heirs and is required to take back a note in the amount of only $3 million. So
                                                                                            he’s effectively moved $2 million out of his estate, thereby sheltering it from estate
                                                                                            tax as well as from GST tax.

                                                                                            Second, any future appreciation in the value of the property and any income
                                                                                            earned from the property will inure to the benefit of the grandchildren. It’s a
                                                                                            “home run” from a tax savings standpoint.

                                                                                            There are a number of variations on this technique, which may or may not be ap-
                                                                                            propriate depending on the circumstances. As an example, if Grandpa has a lower
                                                                                            than average life expectancy, instead of selling the LLC interest for an ordinary
                                                                                            promissory note, it may be wise to sell it in exchange for a “Self-Canceling Install-
                                                                                            ment Note” or “SCIN.” With a SCIN, if Grandpa dies before the term of the note
                                                                                            expires, the entire balance of the note is cancelled. A downside is that a premium
                                                                                            will be payable on the note during Grandpa’s life. But depending on Grandpa’s life
                                                                                            expectancy, a SCIN may be the way to go. I’ll also mention that this technique is
                                                                                            not permitted if Grandpa is terminally ill.

                                                                                            NG: Tell us a little more about the trust used in this technique.

                                                                                            DY: The trust would be set up as a “grantor trust” which means that the trust does
                                                                                            not pay income tax. Instead, Grandpa is required to pay the income tax attribut-
                                                                                            able to the trust. This is actually an advantage because there will be no income tax
                                                                                            consequence to the sale. In addition, when Grandpa pays the trust’s income tax, he
                                                                                            is in effect making a tax-free gift to his grandchildren.

                                                                                            There are some other details, including the fact that the trust would be partially
How To Protect Your Apartment                                                               funded prior to the sale. It can be funded with, for example, a portion of Grandpa’s
                                                                                            LLC interest. The gift would be well within his gift tax exemption amount and,

Buildings From Uncle Sam                                                                    assuming the gift is of an LLC interest, may be entitled to valuation discounts.

After You Die
                                                                                            NG: Assume the same owner sells his apartment building, and buys a triple-net
                                                                                            leased property under a 1031 exchange. What are the tax benefits of doing such
                                                                                            an exchange before his death, and what specifically can he do to minimize the tax

                                                                                            exposure for his heirs? What disadvantages might there be in such action?
        randpa wants to leave his $5 million apartment building, 123 Main Street,
        to his grandchildren. He wants as little tax exposure as possible. Assume           DY: In your example, say Grandpa had a basis in the property of $50,000 and he
        Grandpa has owned 123 Main Street for more than 20 years. He has paid               sells the property for its fair market value of $5 million. Assuming a 25% com-
next to nothing for it. He already has title in the form of an LLC.                         bined Federal and state tax rate imposed on the gain from the sale, there will be
                                                                                            about $1.2 million in income tax payable.
What are the tax consequences of transferring title or control to his grandchildren?
                                                                                            In contrast, if Grandpa holds the property until his death and the property is
DANIEL YARMISH: The federal government imposes an estate tax on each dece-                  included in his estate, the basis of the property is “stepped-up” to the value of the
dent’s estate at a maximum rate of 45%. Under current law, individuals dying in             property at the time of his death. This means that the capital gain that is “built in”
2009 have a $3.5 million exemption with respect to this tax. The government ac-             up to the date of death is avoided.
tually imposes the tax at each generation so that when you leave property to grand-
children you are subject to “generation-skipping transfer tax” or “GST tax” on the
                                                                                            A 1031 exchange can enable Grandpa to dispose of the property while deferring
property left to them, in addition to the estate tax. Also, each state has its own rules
with respect to estate tax. In New York, estate tax is imposed at a maximum rate of         capital gains tax or possibly avoiding it altogether. In a 1031 exchange, speaking
16%, with a $1 million exemption amount.                                                    very generally, the capital gains tax on the disposition is not paid at the time of
                                                                                            the exchange. Instead, the basis of the relinquished property is carried over to the
Clearly, the estate tax can have a devastating impact on what a person’s heirs              replacement property. The tax on the “built-in” gain will be payable if and when
ultimately receive. To avoid these taxes, assets need to be removed from the estate.        the property is later sold. And, if the replacement property is held until death,
The problem is that a direct transfer to heirs is subject to gift tax and, in the case of   Grandpa may be able to avoid capital gains tax entirely because his basis in the
gifts to grandchildren, to GST taxes as well. The federal gift and GST tax rates are        property will be stepped up to its value on the date of his death. It’s important
the same as the federal estate tax rates. So that is probably not a very good solution.     to remember that in order to get the step-up in basis, the property needs to be
Instead, we have to be a bit creative.
                                                                                            included in Grandpa’s estate, which means that it’s subject to estate tax.
NG: What specifically can Grandpa do to minimize such tax exposure?
                                                                                            It’s often better to get the property out of the estate by using estate planning strate-
DY: There’s a great technique that is particularly well-suited for the current              gies such as the one discussed previously rather than holding it until death. This is
depressed real estate market and low-interest rate environment. Let’s take your             because the estate tax rates are much higher than the capital gains tax rates.
example. Grandpa sells a 99% interest in the LLC that owns 123 Main Street to a
trust for the benefit his grandchildren. Assuming the LLC Agreement is properly             However, even if the property is gotten out of the estate and into, say, a grantor
drafted, the 99% LLC interest is a non-controlling interest in a closely-held entity.       trust as in the technique mentioned before, the trust itself should still be able to do
This means that it may benefit from valuation discounts from 30% to 40% or even             the 1031 exchange. In that case, the capital gains tax will be deferred, but there will
higher. I should mention that Congress is now considering legislation that would            be no basis step-up.
reduce or eliminate the ability to take discounts in the intra-family estate planning
context.                                                                                    NG: Final thoughts/advice?
If it’s determined that discounts of 40% apply, the value of the LLC interest sold          DY: Sometimes people who have been financially successful throughout their lives
would be approximately $3 million. Since the LLC interest is technically worth              neglect proper planning for distribution of their property to their heirs, unfortu-
only $3 million, the trust will pay for it with a $3 million promissory note. In light      nately resulting in massive estate taxes being paid to the government. There are a
of current low interest rates, there will be relatively little interest payable.            number of ways to minimize estate tax that have been developed over the years.
                                                                                            With proper planning, you can maximize the amount that your heirs receive and
NG: What kind of savings would there be on the estate tax, in your illustration?            minimize the amount left to the tax man.

                                                                                                                                                  Over $1 billion in sales | 3
                                                                                 purchased. In fact, Walgreens has a very young base of stores, unlike its
                                                                                 competitors. Seventeen percent of its stores are under 2 years old; 25% of
                                                                                 the stores are under three years old. Currently, Walgreens has fewer than
                                                                                 ten stores it needs to close right now for performance reasons. Walgreens
                                                                                 typically needs to close less than ten locations per year, out of a chain of
                                                                                 7,000. They are usually a pharmacy on the site of a corporate headquarters
                                                                                 or hospital, that has since closed down. These locations are not drugstores,
                                                                                 let alone corner drugstores.

                                                                                 Some of you may still be concerned: you sell your apartment building, only
                                                                                 to buy a store that closes down in the middle of the night – leaving you with
                                                                                 what you fear might be an empty building and no rent. When Walgreens
                                                                                 has a 25-year lease, it still honors the entire term of the lease, regardless of
                                                                                 whether it is occupying it or not, some companies use a shell company to
                                                                                 sign their leases. If their store closes, the shell company has very little in the
                                                                                 way of assets to go after, and the owner is stuck with an empty store. That’s
                                                                                 not the case with Walgreens. It signs its leases with its corporate signature,
                                                                                 the same one with the A+ bond rating.

The 7% Solution                                                                  In a typical Walgreens lease, the owner’s rent stream stays constant. Typical
                                                                                 rent term is 25 years, with options to renew for another period of time,
                                                                                 ultimately making it a 75-year lease. Other tenants may offer more in rent,
                                                                                 but with more rent, comes greater risk. That’s why other retail tenants may

           algreens operates 7,449 locations in all 50 states, the District of   pay more – to allay an owner’s concern that it might pick up in the middle
           Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam. That includes 6,943 drug-             of the night and close. You can go to sleep knowing that Walgreens will
           stores, 587 more than a year ago, including 70 stores acquired        pay the rent, maintenance, and repairs, in accordance with the lease terms,
this year. Walgreens is the only drug store chain in the U.S. that is “A+”       month in, month out.
rated “Investment Grade” by Standard & Poor. It is publicly traded on the
New York Stock Exchange.                                                         Any investor should seriously consider having Walgreens as a tenant.
                                                                                 Walgreens is a good, solid credit risk. You’re buying a stable A+ rated bond.
Walgreens drug store branches are available for sale as triple-net proper-       You also don’t have to be a large corporation to buy a typical triple-net
ties. The rent you would receive would be net of insurance, taxes, and           leased Walgreens. Even if you own multiple apartment buildings, adding a
maintenance - hence the term “triple-net.” As the owner, you would have          Walgreens to the mix is a great way to diversify.
zero management responsibility, and keep all the rent. Nothing is taken
“off the top.” Annual rates of return (or cap rates) for Walgreens can be
found for 7 to 7.5%.
                                                                                 Is Walgreens a good fit for your family’s portfolio? First, you should know
Anyone considering selling an apartment building, and buying a triple-           how much your apartment building will sell for in this market. The first 50
net leased property, wants to ensure that his new tenant is dependable.          apartment building owners who reach out to us will get a free customized
Walgreens has had 34 years of consecutive sales and earnings growth.             chart that shows them: (1) what they can expect their apartment building
Our long term debt ratings are A2 by Moody’s, and A+ by Standard and             to sell for; (2) a side-by-side comparison of their current net income with
Poor. Walgreens is the only drug store chain in the U.S. that is “A+” rated      what they can expect to earn if they own a Walgreens instead.
“Investment Grade” by Standard & Poor. Walgreens is ranked No. 6 among
food and drugstores by Fortune magazine, and has been listed for the past        This way you can make an informed decision, and compare apples to
16 consecutive years. Of America’s top 500 companies, Fortune ranked             apples. Call Neil direct (212) 584-8030, or
Walgreens 36th overall in revenue, and 3rd among food and drugstores.            by email.
They’ve been around for 107 years. They utilize a very defensive business
model. People need drugs in good times and bad. Even in rough economic           Special thanks to Lisa Meers, Manager of Investor Relations for Walgreens.

        CHAIN IN THE U.S. RATED A+                                               How To Keep The
 “INVESTMENT GRADE” BY STANDARD & POOR.                                          Vultures Away From
                                                                                 Your Distressed Assets
times, someone won’t get off their statin, or other life-saving drugs. They
sell products that people need.

                                                                                     ome professionals who hold themselves out as loan negotiators are for-
One barometer of reliability is how much cash the tenant has on hand. The            mer loan originators. They usually are self-appointed specialists who
more cash they have, the less likely they are to default on the lease. As of         either don’t understand risk management, credit origination, or both.
5/31/09, Walgreens has $2.3 billion in cash.                                     Originators may have brought leads to banks. That does not mean they un-
                                                                                 derstand all the steps involved in underwriting, and approving a loan. They
Walgreens’ finances are very different from those of its competitors. Rite       don’t understand how to unwind the problem at the debt or property level.
Aid has $7 billion in debt. CVS is also very strong, but Walgreens has a
higher credit rating than CVS. CVS’ rating from Moody’s is Baa2, while           The Rapid Response Team not only originated billions of dollars in loan
Walgreens is A2. Walgreens’ presence in the healthcare market is similar         production. They also formalized bond structures and sold them to Wall
to other companies that are leaders in their fields, like WalMart, McDon-        Street from their respective institutions. In addition, they also utilized their
ald’s, and Best Buy. All of these companies are nationally known, and they       own balance sheets to create loans.
are also in the real estate business. Some owners may be concerned that
a company like Walgreens might still close a store they happen to have           Continued Page 7>> | 4
R                                                         S                                                               T
          each                                                    p ecialization                                                   ools




We are a team of commercial real estate brokers with over $1 billion in              website,, is ranked by as the most
apartment building sales under our belts. Our competitors do not offer any of the    visited multifamily blog in the United States.
following three benefits. And no other broker adds value in all three unique ways:

                                                                                             ools: Fortune 500 companies that offer their products and services to

         each: Our mailings reach every owner of every apartment                             the public use the latest marketing and technological tools to increase
         building throughout New York City. No other broker has as thorough                  market share. Commercial real estate brokers rarely use any of those
         or extensive a list. We spent extensive time and money to create it         tools. Until now. We’re putting the entire arsenal of tools to work.
from scratch, and update it daily. In order to secure the highest price for your
apartment building, you need to reach the widest pool of qualified
buyers. You need to cast the widest possible net. If you focus on a
neighborhood, you keep thousands of would-be investors outside that neighbor-        Skeptical? Good.
hood in the dark. On top of that, we have verifiable relationships with investors
in all 50 states and 90 countries on six continents. These include private
equity funds, high net-worth families around the globe, with whom we have
                                                                                     After R, S, and T, comes YOU.
long-standing, deep-seeded relationships. Don’t take our word for it: go to our
website at for real-time updates of our visitors
and their locations. And we’re not content to rest on our laurels: Our week-         Get not only a FREE comprehensive evaluation of YOUR property
ly multifamily email newsletter has over 5,850 subscribers. And counting.            but also an in-depth explanation of how we’ll put our unique tools to
                                                                                     work for you. Earn every last dollar you and your family deserve. In

      pecialization: We don’t sell office buildings or commercial leasing on         ways no one else can provide.
      the side. We focus on apartment buildings, and multifamily develop-
      ment projects in all stages of development. We do one thing very well,         Call Multifamily Investor Chairman Neil Gronowetter now (212) 584-8030.
instead of several things not so well. This allows us to remain experts in the
marketing and sale of apartment buildings in the New York City area. Our             Find out how we will add value to your bottom line: (212) 584-8030.                                                                                                          Over $1 billion in sales | 5
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                                                                              Community Housing Improvement Program
                                                                                                                                                     Multifamily Investor’s
                                                                                                                                                      “Owners Helping Owners”
                                                                                                                                                     Rapid Response
                                                                                                                                                ADVOCACY FOR BUILDING OWNERS Team
                                                                                                                                              Assists Distressed Borrowers
                                                                                                                                               CHIP is a trade association representing
                                                                                                                                                               & Guarantors
                                                                                                                                              more than 2,500 apartment-building owners
                                                                                                                                                            in New York City.

                                                                                                                                                   ur Rapid Response Team provides free consultations. No strings attached.
                                                                                                 After a 1966, hour has been a the player
                                                                                         Founded in free halfCHIP conversation, ifkey borrower decides to move forward,
                                                                                         and state Rapid Response tax returns, profit/loss statements, and an evaluation
                                                                                                     housing policy defending property owners’
                                                                                in city lender. This package includesTeam prepares a comprehensive package for the

                                                                                        interests on borrower. These typically cost borrowers $5,000-$10,000.
                                                                                        of property and such diverse issues as lead paint,

                                                                                       property taxes, water rates and rent regulations.
                                                                                                                                              Before you spend that kind of money, or put down a deposit,
                                                                                                                                                                   call Neil (212) 584 8030:
            How To Keep Vultures Away                                                                                                        To join, call the CHIP office or visit our website &
                                                                                                                                                                Free consultation with Neil
                                                                                                                                                   the Managing Director of our Rapid Response Team.
            From Your Distressed Assets                                                                                                       (212) 838-7442      
                            Continued from Page 4

                      here’S your anSwer:

Multifamily Investor has assembled a Rapid Response Team of former

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       (212) 838-7442
bank executives to assist you. Unlike other brokerages:

 1) Our immediate goal is the fire sale of your loan or property.
  We’re happy to get your loan modified.
 2) Our Rapid Response Team is made up solely of former bank executives.

Our Rapid Response Team has direct relationships with more banks and
                                                                                    Yawitz-Gronowetter Team – Over $1 bil ion in sales | 7

private lending institutions than anyone else. Our skill sets run the spectrum:

 • Loan modifications
 • Litigation support and referrals
 • Debt and equity placement solutions

If you’re in trouble, our Rapid Response Team will steer you in the right
direction, and get you to where you need to be. The worst thing a distressed
borrower can do is…nothing.

The second worst thing a distressed borrower can do is try to work things
out direct with the bank.

Most lenders do not want to deal with the borrower who “made the mess.”
Most borrowers also lack the understanding of how the banking world
works. If a borrower attempts to resolve matters on his own, he risks
accidentally waiving certain rights, and failing to advocate best for himself.
Even attorneys who are used to dealing with banks and their different
departments (underwriting, risk management, asset liability) may not be a
borrower’s best line of defense.

Our Rapid Response Team offers borrowers, owners, sponsors, and guarantors
an experienced, patient, helpful interface that adds value. We understand risk-
rating schemes and terminology that bank officers use. As a result, our Rapid
Response Team has a higher likelihood of negotiating and convincing banks
to restructure the loan in order to mitigate your losses and preserve your asset.
We sat in the corporate suites of financial institutions and approved loans. Our
Rapid Response Team will have a greater likelihood of knowing how to get
their former colleagues to approve new loans, or modify old ones. Our Rapid
Response Team has mastered the areas of loss reserves, allowances, and risk
ratings. We understand what it means when a risk rating goes from a 6 to an 8,
and how a financial institution copes with that problem.

                                                                                                                                                                                             Over $1 billion
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Over $1 | 7
                                                                                                                                                                                      Yawitz-Gronowetter Team –in salesbillion in sales | 7
Chairman, Multifamily Investor                TM

Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

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