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Jeffrey Gural's Group Locks Down The FlatIron Building

Updated: Jun 26, 2023


In a stunning development that has captured widespread attention, the Flatiron Building in New York City has taken center stage with its remarkable auction, resulting in a change of ownership from four businessmen to three. The second auction, held on May 23rd, 2023, witnessed the participation of a select group of bidders, including Jeffrey Gural, whose group currently holds a 33% stake in the building. Intrigued by the fact that the winning bidder was also Gural, we reached out to him to seek clarification.


Gural shed light on the situation, explaining, "We initially had four partners, each owning a different percentage of shares in the building. However, two others and I had irreconcilable differences with the fourth partner, Nathan Silverstein, leading us to initiate what is commonly known as a petition sale." This unique process allowed Gural and the two like-minded partners to list the building for auction, with the risk of losing it altogether. This risk materialized during the first public auction when a bidder named Jacob Garlick secured the building with a winning bid of $190 million. However, Garlick failed to secure the necessary funds, resulting in the building being listed for a second auction.


Moments after the conclusion of the second auction, with Jeffrey Gural, announced as the triumphant bidder at $161 million, he expressed a mix of relief and acknowledgment of a slightly higher price, stating, "We may have overpaid, but the satisfaction of finally owning the entire building is immense." This significant acquisition prompted us to explore Gural's other ventures and delve into his wide-ranging interests.


Iconic Flatiron building in New York City.


Among his diverse endeavors, Gural is the owner of Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs, both situated in upstate New York. When discussing these two Casinos, Gural shared a personal connection, revealing, "It all goes back to my childhood. I spent countless hours at the track in Yonkers and Rosevelt, captivated by the world of horse racing. The love for these magnificent creatures led me to envision a future involving them." This passion for horses transformed Gural from an ardent fan into a major owner and breeder of Standardbred Racehorses, with his horses currently housed at two farms in upstate New York and Northern Pennsylvania.

Turning to the casino industry, Gural addressed the impact of tax rate adjustments by the state of New York. He voiced concerns that the lowered tax benefit he received five years ago was voided because of covid noting that he was unable to meet the provisions of the bill that included retaining 90% employment. Clearly, like most businesses, he was unable to retain this during covid and when asked for the threshold to be lowered he was declined. This may adversely affect profits at Vernon Downs, even raising the possibility of closure or a potential sale. Clearly, Gural's ventures encompass a diverse range of interests, spanning real estate, horse racing, and the gaming industry.


As Chairman of GFP Real Estate LLC, Gural oversees a vast portfolio of properties, with more than 50 holdings, primarily situated in New York City. Working alongside his son Eric Gural and nephew Brian Steinwurtzel, he spearheads future acquisitions and manages the leasing and operation of over 11 million square feet of property.


Gural attributes his passion for real estate to his father's long-standing involvement in the industry. He shared, "My father played a crucial role in introducing me to the intricacies of real estate. His influence and guidance nurtured my interest and led me on this remarkable journey." A seasoned professional with a wealth of experience, Gural offered his valuable advice on choosing partners wisely, emphasizing the need for thorough vetting, reference checks, and comprehensive research.


In our conversation with Jeffrey Gural, it became evident that he is not only a highly accomplished businessman but also a multifaceted individual. His foray into real estate, horse racing, and the gaming industry showcases his versatility and entrepreneurial spirit. The acquisition of the Flatiron Building serves as a testament to Gural's ambition and strategic decision-making.


Amongst all this, Gural also mentioned to us that the Tioga Downs Foundation gave 1.1 million dollars to non-profits in the Southern Tier of New York where his casino is located. Allowing us to recognize him as a well-rounded businessman and a man with a kind heart.

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