The Jewish Voice | February 7, 2018
By R. Kotkin
John Catsimatidis, billionaire talk show host, businessman, and former Republican mayoral candidate has just added another impressive property into his growing real estate portfolio.
Catsimatidis’ Red Apple Group picked up a recently developed Brooklyn apartment building by the Barclays Center in Prospect Heights for $69.2 million, The Real Deal Reported.
Robert Wolf’s Read Property Group is the seller of the eight-story, 86-unit building at 670 Pacific Street.
The property was purchased in a 1031 exchange with proceeds from the sale of the $65.2 million sale of the former Gristedes corporate headquarters on the West Side of Manhattan, which closed in late September.
1031 exchange allows an investor to sell a property, to reinvest the proceeds in a new property and to defer all capital gain taxes. Tax-deferred exchanges allow investors to defer capital gain taxes as well as facilitate significant portfolio growth and increased return on investment, according to Asset Preservation Corporation, a recognized national leader in the 1031 exchange qualified intermediary industry.
“I think we paid a little bit more than I really wanted to, but we had the ability to do that because of the 1031… This reinforces our love for Brooklyn and our trust in the borough”, Catsimatidis told The Real Deal.
“[Catsimatidis] loved the quality of construction and the location – it’s adjacent to the Barclays Center – and the opportunity to grow his sizable portfolio in the neighborhood”, Yisroel Pershin of GFI realty, who brokered the sale, told The Real Deal.
Catsimatidis, whose Red Apple Group is the largest private company in New York with a real estate business, is planning to build a 425-unit, mixed-use project in Coney Island.
John Catsimatidis is a well-known figure in New York City. He started his business career with a grocery store. In 1971, Catsimatidis opened his first store, at Broadway and 99th Street. Shortly after, he purchased another grocery store on 87th street just west of Broadway, naming it Red Apple.
Among his business innovations were staying open late seven days a week, offering free delivery, and cashing checks for customers. In 1986, Red Apple purchased 36 Gristedes supermarkets, and his success just skyrocketed from there.
Catsimatidis has stated that by the time he was 24 years old, “I built up ten stores and the business was doing $25 million a year, and I was personally earning a million dollars a year”, according to an interview with Mr. Catsimatidis by New York Enterprise Report.
Red Apple has grown far beyond grocery stores. Catsimatidis’s main holdings include 50 Gristedes supermarkets, 371 gas stations in three states, $500 million in real estate, and an expanding oil business. Red Apple has made the Forbes “America’s largest private companies list” several years in a row, with a revenue of over $3 Billion.
He also has been involved with politics, he unsuccessfully ran for mayor of NYC, when he lost in the primary to Joe Lhota. He has donated to both political parties in the past, and his daughter Andrea Catsimatidis is the Chairwoman of the Manhattan GOP.
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