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Designer Purchases Former Gambling Den in Chinatown

Clothing designer Alberto Makali and real estate investment firm Empire Capital Holdings are the owners of 35-37 East Broadway, a six-story, mixed-use building in Chinatown bought by the partnership in March for $20.2 million at a government auction.

The building was used as an illegal gambling den when it was seized by the government last year, with former owner Won & Har Realty Corporation operating pai gow poker games and slot machines on the premises. As such, the Department of Homeland Security will pocket most of the auction proceeds.

The building is 40 percent tenant-occupied, though all leases are on a month-to-month basis. Makali and Empire Capital have yet to reveal plans for the building.
· "Designer Alberto Makali sews up deal for Chinatown ex-gambling den" [TRD]