Aby Rosen

Aby J. Rosen (born May 16, 1960) is a West German-born American real estate tycoon living in New York City. He is the co-founder of RFR Holding, which owns a portfolio of 71 properties in United States cities including New York, Miami, and Las Vegas; and Tel Aviv, Israel. Highlights include the Seagram Building, Lever House, W South Beach, The Jaffa, a Luxury Collection Hotel, 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 to the Core Club in New York.[1]

Aby Rosen
Aby rosen real estate developer samantha boardman whitney museum gala photo by christopher peterson ny.jpg
Rosen, October 2007
Born (1960-05-16) May 16, 1960 (age 60)
NationalityUnited States
EducationWolfgang Goethe University
OccupationReal estate investor/developer
Elizabeth Mina Wechsler
m. 1991; div. 2004)

Samantha Boardman
m. 2005)
Parent(s)Isak Rosen
Anni Rosen

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.[2]

Early lifeEdit

Rosen was born in Frankfurt, West Germany in 1960, the son of Jewish Holocaust survivors.[3] His mother Anni spent World War II hiding in a Belgian farmhouse, while his father Isak was held in concentration camps in Germany and Poland.[3] After the war, his mother became a painter and his father a real estate developer.[3] 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.[3]

Real estate holdingsEdit

In 1991, he founded the partnership RFR Holding LLC with his childhood friend Michael Fuchs (also a son of Holocaust survivors). Although the real estate market was in a downturn at the time, they had access to capital, initially using properties they each 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 quality architects to refurbish them to high standards.[3] 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,[4] 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 by using minimalist architect John Pawson. In 2014, they put the hotel on the market for $260 million, after completing a 4-year $200 million renovation.[5]

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

Lever House Art CollectionEdit

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 in New York. 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 StatesEdit

Rosen and partner Fuchs hold a large real estate portfolio in Germany, especially in Frankfurt, his natal city. 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 lifeEdit

Rosen has been married twice. In 1991, he married Elizabeth Mina Wechsler in a Jewish ceremony at The Pierre in Manhattan.[6] Before their separation in 2000 and divorce in 2004, they had two sons, Gabriel "Gaby" (born 1994) and Charles "Charlie" (born 1996).[7]

In 2005, Rosen married Dr. Samantha Boardman, a psychiatrist and socialite.[8] Boardman is the daughter of D. Dixon Boardman, who founded the hedge fund Optima Fund Management, and Pauline Pitt, a banking heiress.[9] Boardman graduated from Harvard University and Cornell University medical school.[7] She converted to Judaism.[7] Together, they have had two children Alexander (born 2006) and Vivian (born 2008).[7]

Personal residencesEdit

Rosen resides on the Upper East Side of Manhattan with his wife and their two children. The family summers in Southampton, New York[7] where they have a $21.5 million home.[10]

In 2011, Rosen bought the A. Conger Goodyear House in Old Westbury, New York on Long Island for $3.4 million.[11] 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.[12][13] He completed a several-year renovation of the property.[14] Rosen keeps many of his important pieces of art there, including The Virgin Mother,[15] a 13-ton, 33-foot-high bronze sculpture by Damien Hirst of a pregnant woman, with peeled skin and exposed fetus.[16]

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.[17] Rosen is also reported to own a $36 million vacation home in Saint Barthélemy.[18]

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.[19]


  1. ^ "RFR Properties"
  2. ^ ArtNews: "200 Top Collectors 2013"
  3. ^ 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
  4. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2000/10/12/nyregion/on-park-avenue-another-trophy-changes-hands.html
  5. ^ Maurer, Mark (27 October 2014). "Aby Rosen, Michael Fuchs put Gramercy Park Hotel on market". The Real Deal New York. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
  6. ^ New York Times: "Ms. Wechsler Has Wedding" November 18, 1991
  7. ^ a b c d e New York Magazine: "The Art and the Deal" By Phoebe Eaton February 24, 2008
  8. ^ New York Times: "Samantha Boardman and Aby Rosen" July 3, 2005
  9. ^ New York Observer: "Mr. Meister and The Misfit" by Daniel Edward Rosen Archived 2014-09-22 at the Wayback Machine April 4, 2012
  10. ^ Daily Mail: "Billionaire Lane: From fashion designers to real estate tycoons and Wall Street financiers. Meet those who live on the East Coast's most exclusive 5-mile stretch with a private beach and helipad" By CHARLENE ADAMS, May 23, 2015
  11. ^ Galante, Meredith (October 20, 2011). "Real Estate Mogul Aby Rosen Just Bought This Famous Glass House On Long Island". Business Insider. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
  12. ^ "A. Conger Goodyear, 86, Dies". The New York Times. 24 Apr 1964. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  13. ^ 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
  14. ^ Medford, Sarah (28 November 2016). "Aby Rosen Restores a Modernist Landmark in Old Westbury". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
  15. ^ Reginato, James (19 May 2015). "Raising The Bar on Sotheby's Blog". Sothebys. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
  16. ^ Wired NY Staff (February 22, 2017). "Damien Hirst: Virgin Mother". Retrieved February 22, 2017.
  17. ^ NY Post: Sheik Calls Aby House Home
  18. ^ New York Magazine: "How Aby Rosen Brokered the Marriage Between Art and Real Estate"
  19. ^ Women's Wear Daily: "Aby Rosen Holds Annual Art Basel Dinner"