New York – Chabad Purchases Manhattan Building For $42 Million

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    Photo Credit. COLLive.comNew York – In one of the largest real estate deals in the history of Chabad-Lubavitch activities across the globe, Chabad of Midtown Manhattan closed Thursday afternoon on the purchase of the 12-story, 60,000-square-foot building it has occupied for 16 years.

    Sources connected with the transaction say the building, in the heart of New York City at 509 Fifth Avenue, went for $42 million.

    “We thank G-d for this special blessing,” said Rabbi Joshua Metzger, the center’s director. “This presents enormous opportunities and an awesome responsibility to ensure that the multitudes in the heart of the city are cared for and inspired.”

    From its landmark second-floor location at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, Chabad of Midtown currently operates a synagogue, community center and a slew of programs. It also oversees the activities of six other Chabad locations throughout Manhattan’s midtown area. Its giant sukkah, a temporary hut erected in celebration of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, draws thousands of visitors every fall to its Bryant Park location behind the New York Public Library, equidistant between Grand Central Station, the Port Authority Bus Terminal and Penn Station.

    “We serve three primary constituencies,” explained Metzger, “the commuter working crowd, residential locals, and tourists and business travelers. Every year, tens of thousands of people walk through our doors to participate in our popular services and programs.”

    As for filling his newfound space, most of it currently vacant, Metzger pledged that it would go quickly.“The Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, taught us that we cannot rest on our laurels,” he said. “We must continue to grow from strength to strength.”

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    33 COMMENTS

    1. That’s a lot of money (and I’m curious how they raised so much $$$). But I’m sure they’ll do amazing things with all that space in the center of city.

    2. The problem with tzedaka organizations going into the real estate market is that they are not using their own funds. They are using the funds of the klal and if things go well then they think they are brilliant and when things go sour well it is not their loss anyway. How many Chabad houses have gone into bankruptcy protection this year alone? In Australia the same Chabad organization has gone into bankruptcy protection a number of times. In south Florida within a few miles A number of Chabad houses have gone into bankruptcy to the tune of millions and millions of dollars.

      Is this the directive of the Rebbe? Did he permit Shluchim to be so free with “yeners” gelt? Do they ever take personable responsibility or do they ask the tzibur to once again use money that is needed for chinuch and honest torah support to pay off the loans of those trying to make a big name for themselves?

      I don’t have an answer but I would not have the chutzpa to m’zalzel with money that is not mine.

      Jack

      • “I don’t have an answer but I would not have the chutzpa to m’zalzel with money that is not mine”

        Yet you no problem being Motzeh shem ra!
        Who is being free with yeners gelt?
        They are investing in yidishkeit in their communities by buying or building suitable properties befitting their communities. Buying these buildings is exactly what you suggest they do- ” use money that is needed for chinuch and honest torah support”
        None of these properties you mentioned are real estate investments first.
        If they were then perhaps you can tell us of all the sold chabad houses where the investments went well? That’s right they never sell. You have a real chuzpah but not where yidishkeit needs it most.

        • When you invest with your own funds you are an investor ; when you invest other peoples funds you are a speculator!

          Let see about Motzeh Shem Rah; have I lied or told a non truth? I guess you do need to invest in torah study before you make statements that are contrary to Torah.

      • to post # 2 hey !!! nicely writen ……spoken like a true bitter none fargining misnaged … yr rosh will be very proud of …he give you shisy this shabbos , even tho yr not the bal korah

      • Wow Jack! I don’t know you sir, but I feel sorry for you, that when you see a good being done for a community & to help honor HaShem…all you can do is look at the cost & proclaim it’s “not worth it”, or make accusations that people’s Tzedekah is probably being misused & blah, blah, blah?! Come on friend! Where is your support for the community?!

        From what I can see, only the 1st two floors will be used by Chabad? I believe the other floors & offices, etc will be rented out to cover additional costs! They also put quite a bit of cash down on it, making the debt minimal!

        But aside from the money…what could be more important than spreading the Message of HaShem?! Helping Jewish brothers + sisters come back to the fold, etc?! Shoot, I’m not even Jewish myself, but I too have a stake in the Jewish community coming together, because I know it will help to bring the Moshiach! 😀

        And let’s bring King Messiah in Our Times, friend! Why wait?! Let’s keep buying MORE buildings like this & spread the message wherever we can! Let’s wake the gentiles up too! Build the Temple!

        Why sit & complain & moan?! At these Chabad is seriously trying to make something happen! Why not be encouraging?!

        • Please don’t be too offended, but perhaps you are not in a position to understand or comment on what is or is not good for our community or which path of of traditional Judaism is correct.

          It would be like me lecturing the Chinese on the right way to roll an egg roll.

          • Your comment reflects a narrow understanding or appreciation of what a Noahide is, and is plain rude. To help you get a better understanding, I recommend you read the book “The path of the righteous gentile”

            • Bless you, but “Qazxc” (hope I’m spelling that right), are friends on here! I really *don’t* think he was trying to offend. Just stating his feelings & that’s ok! But I sure appreciate your support as a Noahide! I am so excited for the Days of Moshiach! I am so excited to be a servant of HaShem! To celebrate the Feast of Booths right next to the Children of G-d! So I get discouraged when I see Jewish folks not trying to “get w\the program” of making this happen! It’s essential that every Jew get on board! Us gentiles are a MESS! Most of us are in false religions, etc. so I try to work on them too. But w\out the Jews all coming together (which Chabad really helps to make happen), the 3rd Temple would never be rebuilt!

              Anyway, thank you for your support! May we bring the Days of The Messiah in Our Time! 😀

            • I don’t doubt Sherry’s sincerity.

              However, just as I cannot comment on the inner workings of Satmar or on the dispute between KJ and Williamsburg factions, because I was blessed with Poilsiher grandparents and have no understanding or appreciation on the nuances and history of Satmar, Sherry is exceedingly unlikely to have a full picture of the history between Chabad and most of the black hat world and much of the rest of Orthodoxy groups.

          • No offense taken my friend! Shoot, you may even be correct in your assessment, that it’s not for me to comment. I can admit you may be right! I got no problems w\that!

            But as I told another poster on here… I get SO discouraged when I see those in the Jewish community gripe & moan about organizations such as Chabad, trying to do some good in the world!

            Yes a $42million dollar price tag is a lot of money…but for New York, a high-rise building is gonna cost around that much! If not more! And from what I can tell…Chabad acquired the property in a financially smart way & found an exceptional location to boot! How could anyone complain?!

            I’m just a Noahide- I’m nobody special. And I know I CAN’T bring the Jews alll together, get them to demand the 3rd Temple be rebuilt, get them excited about serving HaShem, etc. And I doubt that’s my “job” anyway! I’ve always considered my job to be to work on the gentiles- not the Jews. Because I know there’s not much I can do in that dept.

            But if I can *encourage* a few Jewish souls to wake up… if I could remind them that it’s up to THEM to bring Moshiach…then I’ve done *something*, you know?

            Anyway, thank you for sharing your opinion w\me friend. I can take criticism no problem, when the person delivering it is respectful. Thank You & G-d bless! 🙂

    3. Money NOT well spent. $42 Million so a “tourist” could get kigel in midtown on Friday night. There are 250,000 places to eat Shabbos in Brooklyn. As for a weekday minyan, there are 1,000s of offices where people could meet for 20 minutes. This is more ego than anything else. How long will it take until there’s a geshrei? “Gevalt we can’t pay the $42 million mortgage. Yidden, empty your pockets. Save Yiddishkeit in Midtown.”

      • No, its 42 million to spread the word of Hashem in the busiest location of NYC and most probably the world.

        Is Hashem not worth 42 million.

        Hashem is a king and a king has palaces, this is Hashem’s palace.

    4. Rabbi Metzger really rocks when it comes to spreading yidishkeit and is a shining light for Jews of all walks of life. With the help of JB we were B’H matzliach in securing this Major acquisition and will continue with G-Ds work till the geula!

    5. Wow. I shouldn’t be shocked by the negative feedback against this organization, should I? I happen to know that the building was purchased hands-down without a mortgage. Nearly paid in full with just a bridge loan. Also, hundreds of people – Locals and tourists have to be in Manhattan for shabbos and avail themselves of Chabad of Midtown’s wonderful services and meals each and every week. (The Rabbi’s family has hosted this from day one and hasn’t had a Friday night meal at home in their 16 years of marriage.) The daily mincha minyanim run towards crowds of 100+ and would be difficult to accommodate in an office. Let alone the full-time kollel (and many attendant chavrusa learning partners) that utilizes this oasis in an otherwise spiritually-barren business area/Tourist Mecca for Torah Learning. Overall many thousands of people benefit from Chabad of Midtown’s presence at “The Crossroads of the World”. When its’ future at that location was threatened when the lease was up, the Rabbi and supporters fought for many years to buy the building to ensure its’ continuity.
      Bet the critics eat at home on shabbos and have borrowed money from the “klal” before.

    6. In Manhattan parlance, 42mill is not a princely sum. The goal anyway for a Chabad house is not to make money and or even to break even. Besides, the Rebbe said specifically that the Sheluchim should listen to “The Biznessmen” in making these decisions.

    7. You should expect no less from Rabbi Metzger, In fact it’s a “peleh” that it took him this long, he is a 1 man powerhouse doing the rebbe’s work. I say to Reb Shea, you now need to buy another building and then another buiding. “Zum besser iz nisht duh kein shiur” The more the merrier. Chazak V’ematz..

    8. To #7 (Don’tJudge) Save the Narishkeit for your farbrengens. This site is for sensible Yidden. Maybe the Shluchim don’t sell the Chabad Houses when the market rises, but many scoop out the equity with second and third mortgages, and what do they do with the money? No one knows because there is zero transparency. Then when the market collapses, they run around screaming that they need money to save Yiddishkeit. There’s a specialist at this game on the West Coast who has squandered countless millions in Tzedaka money, yet there always seems to be another generous Yid who steps in when he runs this scheme. The din is clear, if you give Tzedaka to someone who isn’t an oni, you don’t get a mitzvah. You need to make sure that a recipient requires Tzedaka before handing over money. According to this logic, donating to most of Chabad, while perhaps a tax write off, means nothing to Hadodosh Boruch Hu.

      • A person need only get his sustenance from tzedaka, many torah students get all of their needs from tzedaka, sure they could be working at a seven 11 and not surviving on tzedaka, but it is still tzedaka to give to them, chabad houses are run only by voluntary giving, and the shluchim often and in many cases always would not have enough money to educate their own children if not for the generosity and better appreciation of chabad shluchim that schools and yeshivot have. Maybe when the slanderers come up with a better way to bring the OTD yidden back to Hashem, they can be the arbiters of how tzedaka is “invested” in jewish outreach.

      • “The din is clear, if you give Tzedaka to someone who isn’t an oni, you don’t get a mitzvah. “

        As you are the expert on giving tzedaka, it seems that according to your explanation the same rule would apply to anyone who gives tzedaka to Ponivizer Yeshiva or to Mirrer Yeshiva etc etc. is not really getting the mizva of giving tzedaka.

    9. AFAIK, they are renting out most of the floors. To ensure their location, it made sense to buy the building, use 1-2 floors for their purposes and rent the rest for income. Rabbi Metzger actually runs a shoe string operation and does not waste money on frills. This was simply a wise business decision to secure their location for the future.

    10. To # 4 and # 15
      CONTRARY TO POPULAR BELIEF
      Chabad is not there for you to eat your kugel and chullent on shabbos when you get stuck somewhere or would like to go on vacatoin. They are there to bring yidden closer to Yiddikeit. You obviously have no understanding in such matters so dont be so quick to judge.
      P.S. the next time you do do go to a Chabad house remember they are not there to service you they are there for the community.

    11. 42 million can actually be used for housing for thousands of us here in brooklyn struggling to pay the outrageous costs! I think that is more important than a sole buliding in NYC.

    12. I suppose someone has to ask this (now traditional) question: would the $42,000,000 have been put to better use by feeding and clothing the orthodox poor, devoting it to scholarships for those who cannot afford tuition, and building yeshivot, mikvaos and other yiddishe mosdos?

    13. Jack #2….
      You are right, you definitely dont know the answer but you sure do have hutzpa to come on here and bla bla putting these crazy ideas i peoples heads without know ANY of the facts!

      Maybe I had attended there once and was deeply inspired and insisted they buy a building out right and by wiring them the funds?

      Maybe stop being so miserable and go out and help some people and add to society nobody would have missed your posts if yo didn’t post… Go out and do something good now, and if you cant get yourself to be that kind of a jew than at least verify the facts before posting.

      Thank you

    14. Rabbi Metzger is a huge mentch, but he is also a brilliant mind, a talmid chacham and passionately committed to strengthening Jewish observance and pride.
      With his acumen, he could easily have been a fortune 500 CEO. Instead, he takes all his talent and relentlessly persues the vision of reaching out to each and every Jew and make them aware of their precious heritage. Just awesome.
      I cannot think of a better use for a 5th avenue building – it was created for THIS reason, and this alone! Halevai that all of Manhattan was being used to marbitz Torah and Yiddishkeit.
      May every Yeshiva, kollel, and outreach center merit to impact others in the way that Rabbi Shea and his amazing team have done and continue to do. May they go from strength to strength. What an inspiration.

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