The Reuben brothers aren’t yet widespread in New York real estate circles, but they will soon be.
Simon and David Reuben – two UK-based billionaires who were born in India to Iraqi Jews and immigrated to London as teenagers – tacitly raised property across New York City during the pandemic when they amassed one of the largest real estate portfolios in the world .
In December, the siblings paid $ 150 million to buy the bankrupt Surrey hotel – a 95-year-old Upper East Side icon where the celebrity chef was Daniel Boulud’s Café Boulud. In May 2020, they paid SL Green $ 170 million for the condo at 609 Fifth Ave. across from Saks Fifth Avenue and Rockefeller Center.
With the Big Apple’s real estate market surging amid falling rents and occupancy, the Reuben brothers have bought debt and equity in the hospitality, office and retail sectors. In the past year alone, US property acquisitions totaled more than $ 565 million, according to a source close to the family.
“They are passionate about hospitality and want to support the industry and reinterpret so many incredible properties,” the source said. “Her focus is on continuing to invest in her core market, London, and expanding her holdings to major US hubs from New York to Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles.”
It is the final stage in the empire building of the brothers David (80) and Simon (77), who have just been named the second richest family in Great Britain in the Sunday Times of London. Last year the couple donated $ 101 million to Oxford University, which renamed its newest college Reuben College.
In addition, they are important donors to the British Conservative Party and last year they joined the failed offer by the Saudi Arabian Prince Mohammad bin Salman to buy the English Premier League soccer team Newcastle United.
In the US, along with Surrey and 609 Fifth Ave. Acquired two listed retail properties on Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles. prime retail space on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach, Florida; and a 50 percent stake in One Thousand Museum, a luxury condominium tower in Miami designed by the late star architect Zaha Hadid.
The Reubens also funded more than $ 920 million for U.S. hotels such as Park Lane, Chatwal, Time Hotel, and the Dream Midtown Hotel in Manhattan.
Even before the pandemic, the brothers started investing in New York. In 2018, they paid $ 39.5 million for a listed property in Union Square between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. as reported exclusively in the supplement. This room is scheduled to open in 2023.
In times of need, according to a source, cash is king and the Reubens will seek their “new opportunities that may arise due to market uncertainty,” the source said.
The Surrey Hotel – a 189-room hotel on 20 E. 76th St. – is slated to reopen in 2023. It will comprise 97 rooms, 33 suites, five “signature suites” and 12 luxury residences, all of which will be looked after by interior designer Martin Brudnizki.
As for Café Boulud, the Reuben brothers are actively trying to move the famous restaurant to another of their New York houses, sources told Side Dish.