In one of the largest real estate acquisitions 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’s 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 are extraordinarily grateful to G-d for this enormous blessing,” said an ebullient Rabbi Joshua Metzger. “This record-breaking acquisition presents enormous opportunities and an awesome responsibility to ensure that all of our Jewish brethren in the heart of one of the largest cities of the world are cared for and inspired.”
From its landmark second-floor location at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, the Midtown center currently operates a synagogue and a slew of programs, and oversees the activities of six other Chabad institutions in its section of Manhattan. Its giant sukkah, a temporary hut erected in celebration of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, draws thousands of visitors every fall at its Bryant Park location behind the New York Public Library and 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 Jewish tourists and business travelers. Every year, tens of thousands of people walk through our doors and participate in our programs.”
As for filling his newfound space, most of it currently vacant, Metzger pledged that it would go quickly.