Showdown at the Four Seasons

September 8, 2014 4:05 AM

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But living in Germany was “complicated,” he says, and weighed heavily on his parents, who in 1978, when Rosen was 18, moved to Israel. A year later, Rosen returned to Germany to finish college and attend law school. In 1987 he moved to New York. He worked briefly for a real-estate brokerage firm and then, in 1991, with his childhood friend Michael Fuchs, set up RFR Holding LLC, which, backed largely by money from German investors, began to buy up real estate.

He was new in town, an unknown. His purchase of the trophy buildings, says one friend, was partly because “he wanted the real-estate establishment to stand up and take notice.” Which they did, with his acquisition of Lever House. The iconic building was in terrible shape when Rosen bought it. The gl...

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