The Jehovah’s Witness’ are about to witness their bank accounts gain some serious momentum. According to the New York Post, real estate scion Jared Kushner’s Kushner Cos., Aby Rosen’s RFR Holdings and LIVWRK (recently founded by former Two Trees executive Asher Abehsera) are in contract to buy several Dumbo properties from them for $375 million. The lucrative real estate deal is rumored to be Brooklyn’s biggest this year.
Specifically, the commercial buildings being sold total a 1.25 million square feet. They are, in no particular order: 90 Sands St., a 30-story hotel with 505 rooms, and industrial buildings at 55 Prospect St., 81 Prospect St., 175 Pearl St., 77 Sands St. and 117 Adams St. They are also all located in the center of Brooklyn’s newly formed Tech Triangle, and are set to be transformed into luxurious loft-style office space some time in September.
All in all, the six-building sale is the latest transaction for the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who moved their headquarters to Brooklyn in 1909 and are now getting ready to move upstate, to Warwick. (Residents of Warwick: get ready for a lot more door-to-door visits).
The Post reports that the transition to private ownership is expected to be a financial “boon for the neighborhood”, as the buildings move onto the tax rolls and employees pay taxes on salaries, a move that’s expected to bring in millions of new dollars to City Hall.
Coming Up Rosen
Aby Rosen, who was born in Frankfurt, Germany, is the son of Jewish Holocaust survivors, and principal and founder of RFR Holding LLC with his childhood friend Michael Fuchs.
According to the New York Times, friends say he did not find his true place until he make the move to New York in 1987, with plans to carry on in his father’s business.
“There is a saying, ‘When you come to New York, you become a New Yorker within two weeks,’ ” Fuchs said of his business partner. “Aby immediately embraced New York as home.”
Since RFR Holding was established in 1991, Rosen acquired a large portfolio of real estate holdings including the landmark Seagram Building and Lever House.
He is married to clinical psychiatrist and New York socialite, Samantha Boardman.
“They’re sort of like the Bill and Babe Paley of this rather different kind of social age,” said friend and Vanity Fair writer Bob Colacello. “You’ve got the dynamic, self-made tycoon and the high-society princess.”
The Young Royals of Real Estate
Yeah, he’s the principal owner of Kushner Properties. And sure, he bought The New York Observer in 2005. But Jared Kushner, who comes from a well to-do New Jersey real estate family, is also known as Mr. Ivanka Trump. He married the Donald’s offspring in a Jewish ceremony in the fall of 2009. As Kushner comes from an Orthodox Jewish background, the Trump’s daughter converted to Judaism in order to wed the Yeshiva bred real estate scion under a chuppah. Today, they’re known around town as the “It” couple of real estate.
Likewise, father Charles B. Kushner, the founder of Kushner Properties, is a newsmaker in his own right. For one, he’s a major Democratic fund-raiser. But he’s also known for spending time in prison for orchestrating what the New York Times called “one of the more memorable get-even schemes perpetrated in the name of sibling rivalry.” Basically, he hired a prostitute to entrap his brother-in-law and captured their encounter on hidden camera to show his sister.
According to a profile in the New York Times, Jared reportedly visited his father in his Alabama jail cell every weekend until his release in 2007. It’s nothing short of what you’d expect of a nice Jewish boy. A “metzia “ who earned an undergraduate degree from Harvard, followed by a joint MBA and law program from NYU.
Today, the Ivanka Trump/Jared Kushner real estate family has expanded. They have a two-year old daughter named Arabella Rose, and are expecting a second child this fall.
So, how does Grandpa Trump fair when it comes to childcare?
“He’s a great grandfather… as long as it doesn’t involve changing diapers,” Ivanka recently told The Post.