The Reuben brothers aren’t but broadly identified in New York real estate circles, however quickly they are going to be.
Simon and David Reuben — a pair of UK-based billionaires who had been born in India to Iraqi Jews and immigrated to London once they had been youngsters — have been quietly scooping up properties throughout New York City throughout the pandemic as they amass considered one of the world’s greatest real-estate portfolios.
In December, the siblings paid $150 million to purchase the bankrupt the Surrey Hotel — a 95-year-old icon of the Upper East Side that housed superstar chef Daniel Boulud’s Café Boulud. In May 2020, they paid SL Green $170 million for the retail condominium at 609 Fifth Ave. throughout the road from Saks Fifth Avenue and Rockefeller Center.
Indeed, whereas the Big Apple’s real-estate market flails amid plummeting rents and occupancy, the Reuben brothers have been shopping for debt and fairness throughout hospitality, places of work and retail. Last year alone, their US real-estate acquisitions totaled greater than $565 million, in keeping with a supply near the household.
“They are passionate about hospitality and want to support the industry and reimagine so many incredible properties,” the supply mentioned. “Their focus is on continuing to invest in their core market of London, and also on expanding their holdings across the major US centers from New York to Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles.”
It’s the newest leg of empire-building by the brothers — David, 80, and Simon, 77 — who had been simply named Britain’s second-wealthiest household in the Sunday Times of London. Last year, the pair donated $101 million to Oxford University, which renamed its latest faculty Reuben College.
In addition, they are main donors to the UK’s Conservative Party, and had joined Saudi Arabia prince Mohammad bin Salman’s failed bid final year to purchase Premier League English soccer staff Newcastle United.
In the US, on prime of the Surrey and 609 Fifth Ave., the Reubens have acquired two landmarked retail belongings on Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles; prime retail house on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach, Fla.; and a 50 % stake in One Thousand Museum, a luxurious condominium tower in Miami designed by the late starchitect Zaha Hadid.
The Reubens additionally financed greater than $920 million for US inns together with the Park Lane, the Chatwal, Time Hotel and the Dream Midtown Hotel in Manhattan.
Even earlier than the pandemic, the brothers had been beginning to put money into New York. In 2018, they paid $39.5 million for a landmarked Union Square property at 14-16 E. sixteenth, as Side Dish reported completely. That house is slated to open in 2023.
In instances of bother, famous a supply, money is king and the Reubens will use theirs for “new opportunities which may arise due to market uncertainties,” the supply mentioned.
The Surrey Hotel — a 189-room resort at 20 E. 76th St. — is slated to reopen in 2023. It will boast 97 rooms, 33 suites, 5 “signature suites” and 12 luxurious residences, all overseen by inside designer Martin Brudnizki.
As for Café Boulud, the Reuben brothers are actively trying to relocate the storied restaurant at one other considered one of their New York properties, sources inform Side Dish.