Developer Keith Rubenstein is keeping his money in the South Bronx.
Rubenstein plans to launch a $200 million fund to invest in the South Bronx under the “opportunity zone” provision in the new federal tax law, he said. The portion of the law is meant to encourage private investment in rural communities and low-income urban neighborhoods, and New York’s Empire State Development has recommended large portions of the South Bronx for this designation.
Rubenstein plans to contribute 10 percent, or $20 million, to the fund himself and raise the rest from outside investors. He said the fund would largely support small businesses and new real estate projects in the South Bronx.
“I consider myself to be pretty well-versed in a lot of opportunities in the South Bronx,” he said, “and that’s what we’re going to focus on.”
Part of the funding would come from Rubenstein and the Chetrit Group’s $165 million sale of 101 Lincoln Avenue and 2401 Third Avenue to Brookfield Property Partners earlier this year. The partners had planned to construct seven buildings with 1,300 market-rate rental units on the sites, and the project was expected to cost around $600 million.
Although the development was Rubenstein’s best-known project in the South Bronx, he has also helped open local businesses in the neighborhood such as the Italian restaurant Nobodys Pizza and the café Filtered Coffee. He told The Real Deal at the time of the deal with Brookfield that he would continue working in the neighborhood.