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.’ “

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.

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.”

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.

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.”

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.”

Most Charitable Russian Abramovich Leads Billionaires

By Henry Meyer & Alex Sazonov, Bloomberg

(Wed, 24 Apr 13)

“It’s just in the last few years that ultra-rich individuals in Russia have started to pay attention to what they can do to make this world a better place,” said Edward Mermelstein, a New York attorney who helped billionaire Viktor Vekselberg repatriate czarist-era bells from Harvard University at a cost of $10 million. “In the past, charitable giving was done more for vanity, but today we see some serious philanthropists.”

Read at Bloomberg, The Moscow Times

Romancing the Overseas Buyer

By Candace Jackson, Wall Street Journal

(Thur, 18 Apr 13)

<…> Some very wealthy Russian buyers in the New York market have started partnering with developers before construction to make sure units in prime locations can be combined to create large, estate-size apartments, says Edward Mermelstein, a lawyer who works primarily with buyers from Russia and Eastern Europe. “Foreign capital is sort of greasing the wheels and making these projects go much faster than they’d normally go forward.”

Read at Wall Street Journal

Next stop New York: wealthy Russians hurry money from Cyprus to US

, The Guardian

27 March 2013

 The European crisis has forced more and more money out of the bank accounts of wealthy Russians in Cyprus and elsewhere and into the US. “This past year, we’ve been seeing a shift in investments in the United States as a result of the financial state of the European Union,” said Ed Mermelstein, a New York real estate lawyer who advises wealthy Russians.

Another Country

By Keat Foong,


March 27, 2013

The loan illustrates foreign banks’ appetite for Class A—including trophy—commercial properties in major markets, especially New York. If anything, the trend became more pronounced in the second half of 2012, according to Edward Mermelstein, principal of Rheem, Bell and Mermelstein L.L.P., which provides advisory services for foreign clients. “The market in the past several months has changed. Lenders—both local and foreign—have loosened their purse strings,” he said.


From Russia With Cash

Interview of Edward Mermelstein to Robert Frank, CNBC
(Tue, 26 Feb 13)

Edward Mermelstein of Rheem Bell & Mermelstein and CNBC’s Robert Frank, offer insight.

Robert Frank:  The prices these guys are paying, whether it’s New York, Miami, Los Angeles, they are incredible, $100 million dollar place in California, $88 million the Russian bought in New York City.  40 million, most expensive home ever bought in Miami from a Russian.  Why are these guys paying so much? What do they like for in the U.S.

Edward Mermelstein: Value. We’re still in comparison to London quite inexpensive.  If you look at London prices, you’ll realize we’re probably anywhere from 30 to 50% below the prices for comparable property in London.  So value is one of the first items.  New York is, again, one of the most prestigious places for anyone to buy.  The Russian market recognizes that.  They are drawn to sexy locations.  New York is as sexy as you can get.

Transcripts by CNBC. Watch and read at CNBC.