Aby Rosen

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Aby Rosen
Aby rosen real estate developer samantha boardman whitney museum gala photo by christopher peterson ny.jpg
Aby Rosen, October 2007
Born (1960-05-16) May 16, 1960 (age 56)
Frankfurt, Germany
Residence Manhattan, New York
Nationality United States
Ethnicity Jewish
Education Wolfgang Goethe University (Frankfurt)
Occupation Real estate investor/developer
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Mina Wechsler (divorced)
Samantha Boardman
Children with Wechsler:
--Gabriel Rosen
--Charles Rosen
with Boardman:
--Alexander Rosen
--Vivian Rosen
Parent(s) Isak Rosen
Anni Rosen

Aby J. Rosen (born May 16, 1960) is a German-born real estate tycoon living in New York. He is the co-founder of RFR Holding, which owns a portfolio of 71 properties in cities including New York, Miami, Las Vegas and Tel Aviv. Highlights include the Seagram Building, Lever House, W South Beach, W Tel Aviv, Gramercy Park Hotel, Paramount Hotel, and Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, among other properties. Rosen is also a member of, a founding investor in, and the landlord to the highly exclusive Core Club in New York.[1]

Aby is a noted collector of modern and contemporary art, owning over 800 postwar pieces including 100-plus works from Andy Warhol. His collection also houses works from Jean-Michel Basquiat, Alexander Calder, Damien Hirst, Richard Prince and Jeff Koons.[2]

Early life and career[edit]

He was born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1960, the son of Jewish Holocaust survivors.[3] His mother Anni spent World War II hiding in a Belgian farmhouse while his father Isak was interned in concentration camps in Germany and Poland.[3] After the war, his mother became a painter and his father a real estate developer.[3]

In 1987, he moved to New York City where he apprenticed at a real estate brokerage firm selling properties to German investors.[3]

Real estate holdings[edit]

In 1991, he founded the partnership RFR Holding LLC with his childhood friend Michael Fuchs (who was also the son of Holocaust survivors). Although the real estate market was in a downturn at the time, they had access to capital initially using properties they each owned in Germany as collateral and later, leveraging their access to German investors. Their strategy was to purchase large, vacant office buildings in need of an upgrade and then hiring the best architects to refurbish them to exceptional standards.[3] In the 15 years after RFR Holding was established in 1991, Rosen had acquired a vast portfolio of real estate holdings including the landmark Seagram Building and Lever House.

Noteworthy developments[edit]

Gramercy Park Hotel[edit]

Rosen partnered with longtime friend and co-founder of Studio 54, Ian Schrager to transform the 123-year-old Gramercy Park Hotel with minimalist architect John Pawson.

610 Lexington[edit]

In 2006, Rosen announced plans to develop the site at 610 Lexington Avenue in NYC (situated directly behind the Seagram Building) into a glass hotel and condominium tower designed by Sir Norman Foster.

Lever House Art Collection[edit]

The Lever House Art Collection is a collection of works commissioned for display at the Lever House by Aby Rosen. It is curated by Richard Marshall, an art historian as well as an associate curator for the Whitney Museum in New York City. The Lever House Art Collection was inaugurated in 2004 featuring a work by Jorge Pardo. Other works have included:

Outside the United States[edit]

Rosen, with partner Fuchs holds a large real estate portfolio in Germany, especially in Frankfurt, his natal city. In early 2007, they bought the headquarters building of the European Central Bank. Furthermore, the company owns the Swift Haus on Jungfernstieg and the Kaufmannshaus on Große Bleichen in Hamburg. The portfolio is currently administrated by their office in Frankfurt.

Personal life[edit]

Rosen has been married twice. In 1991, he married Elizabeth Mina Wechsler in a Jewish ceremony at The Pierre in Manhattan.[4] They have two sons: Gabriel "Gaby" (born 1995) and Charles "Charlie" (born 1997). They separated in 2000 and divorced in 2004.[5]

In 2005, he married Dr. Samantha Boardman, a psychiatrist and socialite.[6] They have two children: Alexander (born 2006) and Vivian (born 2008).[5] Boardman is the daughter of D. Dixon Boardman, who founded the hedge fund Optima Fund Management, and Pauline Pitt, a banking heiress[7] She is also a graduate of Harvard University and Cornell University medical school.[5] She converted to Judaism.[5]

Rosen currently resides on the Upper East Side of Manhattan with his wife and two children. The family summers in Southampton, New York[5] where they have a $21.5 million home.[8]

Rosen is known for his annual dinner party at the W South Beach during Art Basel that has drawn a mix of celebrities including Alex Rodriguez, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, Steven Tyler, Tommy Hilfiger, Lenny Kravitz, Roberto Cavalli, Sean Penn, Michael Douglas, Tory Burch, Naomi Campbell, Owen Wilson, Andre Balazs, Larry Gagosian, Alex Von Furstenberg, and business leaders such as Eric Schmidt, Ron Burkle, Micky Arison, Steve Tisch, Eli Broad, Peter Brant, and John Hess[disambiguation needed].[9]

His 53rd birthday, held at the Paramount Hotel, featured guests ranging from Bono to Vera Wang and was extensively covered in magazines including Vanity Fair and Vogue.[10]

Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, the former Prime Minister of Qatar, reportedly bought Rosen's 71st Street New York townhouse for $47 million in 2012.[11] Aby is also said to own a $36 million vacation home in Saint Barthélemy.[12]