A cornerstone of New York's Fashion Center, the Kaufman Organization began in 1909 when Samuel Kaufman decided to move his clothing business out of New York's crowded Lower East Side. By the early 1920's, Kaufman was actively involved in developing major properties that served to draw hundreds of garment businesses up to the now world famous Fashion Center of Manhattan's West 30's. Initially, he built 462/470 Seventh Avenue and developed other properties along West 35th Street. Through World War II, the organization continued its expansion with the addition of several large buildings, including 519 Eighth Avenue, 22 and 111 West 19th Street and 450 Seventh Avenue, our current headquarters. At the time of Samuel Kaufman's death in 1950, the Kaufman Organization had grown from a small garment business on the Lower East Side into a well-respected force in New York real estate.
The Kaufman Organization began a second major expansion stage in the late 1950's, when our current chairman George Kaufman assumed leadership of the company. Under his guidance, the Kaufman Organization acquired several key properties including the Columbia Pictures building, the McGraw Hill building, 460 West 34th Street, the Surrey Hotel, 555 West 57th Street, 520 Eighth Avenue, 40 Worth Street and 1560 Broadway. In addition, the company successfully converted 10 high profile residential properties in Manhattan and Westchester to cooperative ownership, built shopping centers in Delaware and Ohio, acquired 12 properties in Westchester and New York's outer boroughs, and purchased the prominent Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens. Even with subsequent sales, the Kaufman Organization portfolio has grown considerably. Today, the portfolio includes almost 40 properties, comprising approximately 5 million square feet of space that is either owned or managed by the Kaufman team.