New 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.”