SOMETHING IS AMISS
LostMessiah, April 12, 2016
We have reported on Reznitz and JSR’s repeated connections with Africa Israel, Lev Leviev and his various diamond dealing colleagues, Effy Raps and Yaron Turgeman amongst them. We have posited that we think it is no coincidence that 23 Wall Street and the Apthorp buildings are listed as parts of the portfolio of both JSR Capital and Africa Israel, though the former building was allegedly sold in 2008 to Sonangol.
We reported that there appears to be strange ties with Sonangol’s President Sam Pa, who not only is prohibited from doing business in the Unites States but who acquired the 23 Wall Street property in 2008 (from Africa Israel) under the name Sonangol, a Chinese oil company that does business in Angola.
Until now we had not mentioned that Sam Pa and Sonangol are also apparently synonymous with the Queensway Group (referred to in articles as “predatory investors“) and that the 23 Wall Street property was purchased by a Delaware-registered company whose actual ownership is undisclosed.
AFTER READING THE REALDEAL ARTICLE BELOW, WE WOULD BE REMISS IF WE DID NOT POINT OUT SOMETHING ELSE THAT LOOKS VERY ODD…
“The company’s only other building purchase, according to public records, was Solomon Plaza, located at 5002-5024 13th Avenue in Borough Park. Rechnitz paid $25 million for the three-story, 45,000-square-foot office and retail property in April of last year.”
In effect, Rechnitz paid $555.56 per square foot for a lousy building in Boro Park. As we see it, there’s no way that building could generates anywhere near the rent to justify such a price.
So, it begs the question as to why Rechnitz would sink that much money into this property.
From TheRealDeal, April 12, 2016
JSR Capital’s Jona Rechnitz: a mid-level investor with major league political connections
“The JSR boss also donated generously to de Blasio’s election campaign, and to the Campaign for One New York, a political nonprofit supporting the mayor, largely funded by contributions from real estate players. Rechnitz reportedly donated $50,000 to the group. He and Reichberg were both members of de Blasio’s inaugural committee in 2013. He also gave $102,000 to New York’s Democratic Party to fund its campaign to take control of the state Senate.
Rechnitz and Reichberg, of Borough Park, also funneled contributions from Manhattan jewelers Paul “Effy” Raps and Yaron Turgeman, who were subsequently accused of defrauding millions of dollars from Africa Israel founder Lev Leviev, according to the New York Post.
Rechnitz didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment for this story.
On Sunday, de Blasio distanced himself from the businessmen. “It’s not a particularly close relationship,” the mayor said, according to Politico. “I met them first around the time of the  general election. I hadn’t known them previously and really haven’t seen them in the last year or more.”
Rechnitz, raised in Los Angeles and educated at Yeshiva University in New York, founded JSR in 2010 following his stint at Africa Israel.
That year Manhattan-based firm bought the Mount Hope Medical Center at 1870 Grand Concourse in the Bronx, paying $1.35 million. JRS renovated the property, then sold it in 2015 for $1.55 million.
The company bought the 33-unit, 27,000-square-foot residential property at 216 East 3rd Street in the East Village the following year, paying $3.5 million.
In May 2013, the firm bought 238 Madison Avenue in Midtown, a 14-unit residential property with ground floor retail. JSR paid $12 million for the 11,000-square-foot property.
The company’s only other building purchase, according to public records, wasSolomon Plaza, located at 5002-5024 13th Avenue in Borough Park. Rechnitz paid $25 million for the three-story, 45,000-square-foot office and retail property in April of last year.
Rechnitz has also been active in the market for unsold sponsor units, namely at the Apthrop, a landmarked building located at 2211 Broadway. Africa Israel bought the property, which largely composed of stabilized rental units at the time, in 2006. It converted the building to condos in 2008, in the face of opposition from tenants and financial problems tied to the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent economic downturn.”