October 22, 2014
Tracking NYC’s co-op sales records

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The Real Deal

Co-ops are also perceived by some as being more exclusive than condos. Whereas condos turn over regularly, co-ops often stay in the hands of the same families and don’t come to market that often, said real estate attorney Edward Mermelstein. “Most of the buyers along Fifth and Park avenues tend to be there for life,” Mermelstein said. There remains a gap, however. Co-op prices are yet to crack the $90 million mark set by new development condos such as Extell Development’s One57. But Mermelstein said that co-ops would continue to catch up. “It’s just inevitable,” he said. – See more at: http://therealdeal.com/blog/2014/10/22/tracking-nycs-co-op-sales-records/#sthash.EcxY1rIf.dpuf

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September 19, 2014
It can get scare being a Russian oil billionaire

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Edward Mermelstein, a New York-based attorney for Rheem Bell & Mermelstein who works with Russian clients, told CNBC that this is just the beginning and that “more heads will roll.”

“Anyone outside the circle or in the opposition will be making contributions Roman-style,” Mermelstein said. “The ruble is tanking and I think at the rate gas is going, Russia will be paying Europe to buy it. What a mess.”

Perhaps surprisingly, Russian Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev publicly said this week that the Yevtushenkov arrest could trigger more capital flight as it spooks Russia’s markets and investors.

“The buzz is that there are similar contests with Kremlin insiders and it is very likely that we will see other large corporations being either sold or wrestled from owners by those with close ties to the Kremlin,” Mermelstein said. “The idea is to consolidate power and money as the economy descends into collapse.”

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April 25, 2014
Russian Investors Seek Safety in US Real Estate

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Voice of America

…with tensions over Ukraine on the rise, Russian investors are changing their strategies within the American market. That’s according to U.S.-based real estate agents and lawyers who cater to clients from the former Soviet Union.

“The high times are over,” said Edward Mermelstein, a New York lawyer who represents foreign investors in the U.S., including many Russians.

“It’s now mainly a flight to safety in American markets,”said Mermelstein.

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March 12, 2014

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Nervous Ukrainian money en route to New York’s safe haven

They are not just focusing on New York, but New York is the strongest center,” said Edward Mermelstein, a Ukrainian-born lawyer who helps wealthy Eastern Europeans invest in New York real estate. “In the media, the city is always portrayed as the safest bet. It also has prestige.”

Mermelstein said he has been speaking with clients on an hourly basis in recent weeks, which is more often than usual. Most of the callers were not from Russia or Ukraine, but from countries like Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan or Uzbekistan.

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January 6, 2014

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New One57 Buyer Tries a Flip

Edward Mermelstein said that he often negotiates deals for investors who want the right to quickly resell apartments, but that this isn’t true for the most expensive trophy apartments.

“At the top end they are not looking for anything other than to be able to say: ‘I have an apartment in the sexiest new buildings in New York.’ “

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October 31, 2013

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Edward Mermelstein Elected President Of COJECO

Sept. 9, 2013, PRNewswire

The Council of Jewish Emigre Community Organizations (COJECO), the central coordinating body in the Russian-speaking Jewish community of NY that was formed in 2001 to facilitate successful integration process of Russian-speaking Jews into the mainstream Jewish community and the greater American society has elected Edward Mermelstein President of the organization.

Mermelstein, 45, is a Russian-American real estate attorney, consultant and developer based in New York City. He is a co-founder of the law firm, Rheem Bell & Mermelstein, LLP, for whom he is a partner. Mermelstein has been named as one of the 10 most powerful players in New York real estate by the Commercial Observer, and is regularly featured in the media for his top-tier deals on behalf of international investors. Mermelstein is an active philanthropist, serving on the boards of UJA-Federation of NY, Russian-American Jewish Experience (RAJE), Manhattan Youth Ballet, and more. Wexner Fellowship has formed a first ever Russian-speaking Cohort that Mermelstein has participated in for the past year.

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To Russia, with intent: Macklowe touts 432 Park Avenue at Moscow hotel

By Hiten Samtani , The Real Deal

(October 25, 2013 )

Macklowe Properties is stepping up its overseas marketing of its flagship project 432 Park Avenue. The developer recently sent sales representatives to Moscow’s Ritz-Carlton hotel to court potential buyers for its 1,398-foot-tall condominium tower. The representatives met with some of the country’s top real estate brokers and their clients at the Ritz-Carlton hotel, located on Tverskaya Street, which is seen as a hub for the country’s business elite, sources said.

“There are two or three hotels in Moscow which see such high traffic of high-net-worth individuals, it’s a no-brainer to spend a few dollars to get a couple of sales,” said Edward Mermelstein, a partner at law firm Rheem Bell & Mermelstein who makes frequent trips to Russia but is not involved in 432 Park Avenue. “They’re in that space discussing billion-dollar deals. It’s just a matter of catching their attention.”

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Kelly hailed for keeping streets paved with gold

By Konrad Putzier, Real Estate Weekly

(September 25, 2013)

New-York based lawyer Edward A. Mermelstein, who helps wealthy Eastern Europeans and Central Asians invest in New York real estate, has seen more demand since the onset Europe’s fiscal crises. “It is helpful for us when things in Europe are unstable,” he said in a phone interview.

The bailout of Cyprus’ banks with significant losses for savers, many of them Russian, showed the risk of keeping money in banks, he said. According to Mermelstein, this led many of his clients to consider New York real estate. “The harder the assets, the more likely the wealth preservation”, he said. “New York’s real estate market has a long track record of stability, proven over decades.”

In the past six months, Mermelstein has also noticed a shift in investing behavior.

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Canadians and Russians Penetrate U.S. Housing Market 

By Mark Kennedy , Financial Post


Ever since the U.S. housing bubble burst, it’s no surprise that foreign buyers have flooded the U.S. housing market.  Both the Canadians and the Russians are leading the pack, but in different ways.

Edward Mermelstein, a Manhattan attorney who guides foreign buyers through the purchase process says that one of the reasons for this buying spree is it’s much easier for someone from Russia to get a visa in the U.S. than in the U.K. For instance, Mr. Marmelstein says “particularly in the $20 million-plus market, there are a disproportionate number of Russian buyers.”

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The great expatriate hiring boom

May 15, 2013: 5:00 AM

By Jennifer Alsever, CNNMoney

“…In Russia, Edward Mermelstein spent six months training and relocating top-level executives to run the Moscow office for Rheem Bell & Mermelstein, a corporate law firm based in New York. But in the past two years, local competitors poached two of his executives, offering them nearly double their salaries. Mermelstein says the same scenario is playing out with many of the firms’ other big banking clients there.

“The competition is cutthroat, and they don’t give you two-week notices. If they leave, they just leave,” says Mermelstein, the firm’s principal.”

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