Riverstone CEO Christy Freeland is leading the company's aggressive growth strategy, which includes its recently inked deal with BlackRock. Photo: Riverstone Residential Group Despite the turbulent economy, Dallas-based Riverstone Residential Group is still in rapid growth mode. BlackRock Realty Advisors, the real estate equity arm of BlackRock, has hired Riverstone to manage 62 communities, representing more than 15,000 units nationwide with a heavy concentration on the West Coast. The portfolio was previously managed by Metric Property Management, a wholly owned subsidiary of BlackRock.

"Our primary objectives in the selection of Riverstone were to provide stability to our portfolio throughout the transition and take advantage of Riverstone's value-added strategies and economies-of-scale to continue to provide favorable returns to our clients," says Ron Zuzack, managing director and head of U.S. real estate equity for BlackRock Realty Advisors. The New York-based firm declined to comment on why it has decided to outsource management of its units.

The agreement brings Riverstone's portfolio of units under management to 180,000. Metric's associates will remain on-site. "We are very excited to welcome the new associates into the Riverstone family," says Christy Freeland, Riverstone's CEO. "There certainly are some things that Metric associates were doing that we can learn from. Every time you do an acquisition or some large outsourcing agreement like this, you incrementally improve your own processes and systems so that you can continue to get better at what you do."

Riverstone has successfully integrated the portfolios, employees, and resources of six regional management companies in the past three years-the firm landed the No. 4 spot on Multifamily Executive's 2008 Top 50 Managers list. Riverstone's last major growth spurt occurred in April with the acquisition of the Seattle-based third-party management firm HSC Real Estate and its 34,000 units.