The feature delves into his controversial record, such as the eight lawsuits that he has been hit with since February 2014, and his heavy reliance on debt. (Per the article: "New York City multifamily deals are leveraged at an average 50 to 65 percent — Toledano’s deal, by comparison, comes out to 128 percent.")
The feature, not exactly an image softener, notes that Toledano made "frat-tastic boasts about his wealth."
“I’m worth a fuckload of money, bro,” he said.
The statement was all the more remarkable considering that just five years ago the New Jersey native was waiting tables.
In an industry known for colorful personalities, Toledano — who goes by the nickname “Rafi” — has emerged as an unlikely up-and-coming player in the city’s competitive multifamily market. Over the past nine months, he has become one of the East Village’s biggest landlords, after his investment firm, Brookhill Properties, agreed to buy 28 buildings in two separate portfolios from the Tabak family for a combined $140 million. He currently owns more than 400 units — counting only the buildings he’s already closed on.
Altogether, Toledano values his entire portfolio, the bulk of which are aging East Village walk-ups, at $500 million.
Toledano’s plan is to rehab the units, paving the way for destabilization and rent hikes. It’s a playbook move for multifamily investors. But listen to him talk, and he might as well be building on Billionaires’ Row.
“I consider myself the ultimate of developers because I’m taking a run-down, neglected building and developing it,” he said. “Gary Barnett has the easiest job — he gets vacant land, he gets an architect, a good contractor, and he builds up. For me, it’s not like that.”
The article notes that Toledano is also working to introduce a new line of shoes he designed in partnership with a Portugal-based shoemaker.
And while he has "recently sold a few buildings in Murray Hill and Gramercy Park for an undisclosed price, the core East Village assets, he said, he will keep "'for eternity.'"
Previously on EV Grieve:
Claim: Landlord of 444 E. 13th St. threatened 'to drop dynamite on the building'
Report: Residents at 444 E. 13th St. will receive a $1 million settlement over claims of harassment by Raphael Toledano
Report: State investigating East Village landlord Raphael Toledano
Health Department to inspect Raphael Toledano's East Village properties for toxic levels of lead dust