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
By Katherine Clarke | March 19, 2014 02:12PM

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.