Aby Rosen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from RFR Holding)

Aby Rosen
Aby rosen real estate developer samantha boardman whitney museum gala photo by christopher peterson ny.jpg
Rosen, October 2007
Aby Jacob Rosen

(1960-05-16) May 16, 1960 (age 62)
EducationWolfgang Goethe University
OccupationReal estate investor/developer
Elizabeth Mina Wechsler
(m. 1991; div. 2004)

Samantha Boardman
(m. 2005)

Aby Jacob Rosen[1] (born May 16, 1960) is a German-American real estate tycoon living in New York City. He co-founded RFR Holding, which owns a portfolio of 93 properties valued over $15.5 billion in cities including New York, Miami, Las Vegas, and Tel Aviv. Highlights include the Seagram Building, W South Beach, The Jaffa 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 of the CORE Club in New York.[2]

Rosen is a noted collector of modern and contemporary art, owning more than 800 postwar pieces, including 100-plus works by Andy Warhol. His collection includes pieces by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Alexander Calder, Damien Hirst, Richard Prince and Jeff Koons.[3]

Early life[edit]

Rosen was born in Frankfurt, West Germany, in 1960, the son of Jewish Holocaust survivors.[4] His mother, Anni, spent World War II hiding in a Belgian farmhouse, while his father, Isak, was held in concentration camps in Germany and occupied Poland.[4] After the war, Anni became a painter and Isak a real estate developer.[4] Rosen attended local schools before going to Wolfgang Goethe University, where he graduated with a business degree. His parents moved to Israel by the 1990s, living in Tel Aviv.


In 1987, Rosen moved to New York City. He apprenticed at a real estate brokerage firm selling properties to German investors.[4]

Real estate holdings[edit]

In 1991, he founded the partnership RFR Holding LLC with his childhood friend Michael Fuchs, also a son of Holocaust survivors. The real estate market was in a downturn at the time, but they had access to capital, initially using properties they owned in Germany as collateral. Later they leveraged their access to German investors. Their strategy was to purchase large, vacant office buildings in need of an upgrade and hire architects to refurbish them to high standards.[4] In the 15 years after RFR Holding was established in 1991, Rosen acquired a large portfolio of office buildings, including the Seagram Building, purchased for $375 million from the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association in 2000,[5] and Lever House.

In 2006, Rosen partnered with Ian Schrager, a longtime friend and co-founder of Studio 54, to transform the 123-year-old Gramercy Park Hotel with minimalist architect John Pawson. In 2014, they put the hotel on the market for $260 million, after completing a four-year, $200 million renovation.[6]

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

Lever House Art Collection[edit]

The Lever House Art Collection is a collection of works commissioned by Rosen for display at the Lever House. It is curated by Richard Marshall, an art historian and associate curator for the Whitney Museum. The Lever House Art Collection was inaugurated in 2004 featuring a work by Jorge Pardo. Other works have included Bride Fight by E.V. Day, Hulks by Jeff Koons, and Hello Kitty by Tom Sachs.

Outside the United States[edit]

Rosen and Fuchs hold a large real estate portfolio in Germany, especially in Frankfurt. In early 2007, they bought the headquarters building of the European Central Bank. The company also owns the Swift Haus Jungfernstieg in Hamburg. This portfolio is administered 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.[7] Before their separation in 2000 and divorce in 2004, they had two sons, Gabriel (born 1994) and Charles (born 1996).[8]

In 2005, Rosen married Dr. Samantha Boardman, a psychiatrist and socialite.[9] Boardman is the daughter of D. Dixon Boardman, who founded the hedge fund Optima Fund Management, and Pauline Pitt, a banking heiress.[10] Boardman graduated from Harvard University and Cornell University medical school.[8] She converted to Judaism.[8] Together, they have two children, Alexander (born 2006) and Vivian (born 2007).[8]

Personal residences[edit]

Rosen resides on the Upper East Side of Manhattan with his wife and their two children. The family summers in Southampton, New York,[8] where they have a $21.5 million home.[11]

In 2011, Rosen bought the A. Conger Goodyear House in Old Westbury, New York on Long Island for $3.4 million.[12] The house was designed and built in 1938 by Edward Durell Stone in the International Style for Anson Conger Goodyear, the first president of the Museum of Modern Art.[13][14] Rosen completed a several-year renovation of the property.[15] He keeps many of his important pieces of art there, including The Virgin Mother,[16] a 13-ton, 33-foot-high bronze sculpture by Damien Hirst of a pregnant woman with peeled skin and an exposed fetus.[17]

In 2012, 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.[18] Rosen is also reported to own a $36 million vacation home in Saint Barthélemy.[19]

Rosen is known for his annual dinner party at the W South Beach during Art Basel. It has drawn a mix of celebrities and business leaders.[20]


  1. ^ New York City Marriage Licenses Index (1991)
  2. ^ "RFR Properties"
  3. ^ ArtNews: "200 Top Collectors 2013"
  4. ^ a b c d e The New York Times: "SQUARE FEET: THE INTERVIEW -- WITH ABY ROSEN; A Taste for Timing, And Confrontational Art" By TERI KARUSH ROGERS, August 14, 2005
  5. ^ Bagli, Charles V. (October 12, 2000). "On Park Avenue, Another Trophy Changes Hands". The New York Times.
  6. ^ Maurer, Mark (October 27, 2014). "Aby Rosen, Michael Fuchs put Gramercy Park Hotel on market". The Real Deal New York. Retrieved March 7, 2017.
  7. ^ New York Times: "Ms. Wechsler Has Wedding" November 18, 1991
  8. ^ a b c d e New York Magazine: "The Art and the Deal" By Phoebe Eaton February 24, 2008
  9. ^ New York Times: "Samantha Boardman and Aby Rosen" July 3, 2005
  10. ^ New York Observer: "Mr. Meister and The Misfit" by Daniel Edward Rosen Archived September 22, 2014, at the Wayback Machine April 4, 2012
  11. ^ "Meet the rich and powerful people who live on 'Billionaire Lane' in the Hamptons". Business Insider.
  12. ^ Galante, Meredith (October 20, 2011). "Real Estate Mogul Aby Rosen Just Bought This Famous Glass House On Long Island". Business Insider. Retrieved March 7, 2017.
  13. ^ "A. Conger Goodyear, 86, Dies". The New York Times. April 24, 1964. Retrieved September 14, 2015.
  14. ^ Alex Hoyt, "A. Conger Goodyear House: A Look at an Edward Durell Stone House on Long Island That Narrowly Avoided Demolition", Architect magazine, November 17, 2011
  15. ^ Medford, Sarah (November 28, 2016). "Aby Rosen Restores a Modernist Landmark in Old Westbury". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 7, 2017.
  16. ^ Reginato, James (May 19, 2015). "Raising The Bar on Sotheby's Blog". Sothebys. Retrieved March 7, 2017.
  17. ^ Wired NY Staff (February 22, 2017). "Damien Hirst: Virgin Mother". Archived from the original on December 19, 2008. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
  18. ^ NY Post: Sheik Calls Aby House Home
  19. ^ New York Magazine: "How Aby Rosen Brokered the Marriage Between Art and Real Estate"
  20. ^ Women's Wear Daily: "Aby Rosen Holds Annual Art Basel Dinner"