Ravenous Broadway Bunch Devouring Deals in Huge Bites

But that’s also sort of the catch to the whole Broadway thing. What happens if the firm’s too optimistic?

Cautionary tales lurk all over the industry. For every success, there’s a story like Adam Hochfelder, the overeager buyer in Manhattan real estate who bought aggressively at the beginning of the decade, only to lose it all. And then there’s David and Jean Solomon, who developed large office towers in the 1980’s but couldn’t find any tenants to fill them when the early-1990’s recession hit.

Of course, finding capital and finding tenants isn’t hard in this Manhattan market; vacancy rates are tickling all-time lows, and the local economy remains very strong. And at least for the last 12 months, Broadway Partners has wagered that this is exactly the right time to buy big.

“Lawlor decided that he was going to buy in bulk and buy good-quality real estate, and he bet the market would improve,” said Charles Bendit, the co-owner of Taconic Investment Partners, another investment fund. “And so far, it’s a good bet.”