The Real Deal New York

Former Chinatown gambling den auctioned for $20M

Homeland Security a big winner, gets 65 percent of sale proceeds for East Broadway building

March 19, 2014 02:12PM
By Katherine Clarke

21 People Viewed

Joseph Rahmani and 35-37 East Broadway

Joseph Rahmani and 35-37 East Broadway

Empire Capital Holdings, a private investment company, has triumphed at the public auction of a mixed-used downtown building that was formerly home to a Chinatown gambling den.

It beat out numerous local players, including Jonathan Zamir, David Zar, Kamyar Haimof and Irving Langer, who were bidding for the property. The winning bid was $20.2 million, sources said. Empire was represented in the sale by Venture Capital Properties

The property had been appraised at $17 million.

The 24,157-square foot, six-story building, at 35-37 East Broadway, is 40 percent tenant-occupied but all leases are month to month, according to marketing materials seen by The Real Deal.

The building was seized last year by the Federal government from its former owner, Won & Har Realty Corporation,after a raid exposed illegal gambling at the location. The owners illegally hosted pai gow poker games and allowed the use of computerized slot machines, it was previously reported.

The Department of Homeland Security will take home 65 percent of the sale proceeds, while Won & Har will get the remainder.

VCP is headed by founder Joseph Rahmani. When contacted by The Real Deal, Rahmani declined to comment on the identity of the buyer.

10 Responses to “Former Chinatown gambling den auctioned for $20M”

  1. March 19, 2014 at 2:42 pm, Jonathan Yunason said:

    Good Stuff Joe!

  2. March 19, 2014 at 3:35 pm, george said:

    That’s market! The winning bidder hard such a cheese smile, it was funny.

    • March 19, 2014 at 4:34 pm, Good Luck said:

      I think it’s below market because of the seediness of the story.

    • March 19, 2014 at 4:43 pm, Govt always needs money said:

      definitely below market when Sam Chang just sold something for 44 million

      Why didn’t the government kick everybody out to raise the value of the property before the auction? Maybe they should ask brokers to handle auctions in the future.

  3. March 19, 2014 at 3:45 pm, BobthePlunger said:

    i heard he immediately went to the bathroom inside the building afterwards…

  4. March 19, 2014 at 4:20 pm, Pricey said:

    …that’s quite the tie he has there

    Overpaid for both.

  5. March 19, 2014 at 4:32 pm, casinos are predatory said:

    I think it was the tenant’s subtenant who was blatantly running an illegal gambling operation and not the property owner who used to work for his father for free until he broke out on his own and ran eateries that required he and his wife to stand in puddles while preparing food while they had a baby on the counter according to my Dad who was his tenant a long time ago.

    His Won Kee restaurant is still missed and was our go to place for breakfast when I first started eating solid foods.

  6. March 19, 2014 at 6:16 pm, Piero Robelli said:

    Fascinating. So, instead of just closing down the illicit venture, thugs at DHS seize the property, auction it, and keep 65% of the proceeds. And the stolen money goes to what use? This is not an isolated incident. Folks, this is so wrong.

  7. March 20, 2014 at 11:05 am, RE GUY said:

    These guys have to stop shopping at Joe Moinian’s tie store. That skinny head/fat tie knot look is terrible.

  8. April 11, 2014 at 11:12 pm, Next Stop, Guantanamo? said:

    What does Homeland Security have to do with this? This news preceded Leland Yee’s arrest for betraying nonevil by doing business with international terrorists. It’s like a downpour of weird Chinatown news across the country with Gene Lee’s arrest in Chicago the latest edition.

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