From the Village Voice:
[Sam] Suzuki, who grew up in Queens, began his career in real estate on the banking side, first with Dime Savings Bank and then at Citibank. In 1993, he founded (and, until recently, controlled) the Vintage Group, which claims to manage more than $300 million worth of real estate, including Chelsea condos. Suzuki is also a prime developer in Flushing. In 2005, he landed on the list of "Outstanding Asian Americans in Business." In 2007, the Lubavitchers' Chabad of Port Washington gave Suzuki its "Community Service Award"; he was the only non-Jewish honoree.
Records indicate that Suzuki, through a newly created entity called BXP1, did apparently acquire six of the buildings—he and Hunter attorney Alice Belmonte are listed on the deeds as the buyers. Rachel Arfa's attorney, David Katz, tells the Voice that Suzuki and Belmonte were the only representatives of BXP1 at the closing. But Belmonte says Suzuki is only managing the buildings—and she won't name BXP1's principal or investors.
This past November, two of the six properties taken over by BXP1—1640 and 1636 University—popped up on the city's worst-violations list, and not because one of the stairwells reeks of cat piss. They hadn't been on the list the year before, when Ocelot still owned them, but since Suzuki came onboard as a manager, residents have filed more than 300 complaints with the city.