History of the Haddad Family and the Birth of Elijah Equities
The Haddad Family's American origins date back to the turn of the 20th century when Eli Haddad emigrated from Aleppo, Syria at the age of 11. In 1910, Eli moved into 52 Allen Street on Manhattan's Lower East Side where he shared an apartment and communal bathroom with other immigrant Jews seeking a better life in America. Little did he know at that time that 52 Allen Street would serve a much greater role throughout his life, and be the springboard for his family's collective fortunes.
After serving as a peddler and an apprentice to local retailers throughout his teens, Eli was able to secure the lease for the store at 52 Allen Street, where he opened up shop as a merchant to the retail and wholesale trades. In the 1920's Eli established one of the very first import licenses for merchandise from the Far East into the United States and began to sell everything from tools and linens to oriental rugs and apparel. At this time Eli, the eldest of five siblings, brought his brothers over to the United States to join the family business. After many years of hard work and difficult travel, Eli Haddad Corp. had become so successful that in 1928 Eli was able to purchase his first New York City property - 52 Allen Street!
Over the next few decades, Eli Haddad Corp., later renamed Haddad & Sons as the families expanded (and trading under the name Hadson) grew into a multimillion dollar importing concern servicing all the major department store chains operating at that time. F.W. Woolworth, Sears Roebuck & Company, Gimbel's and Korvettes were all valuable customers. Overseas factories and suppliers shipping millions of pieces of merchandise into New York were playfully known to call the city's western waters the "Hadson River". All this time, Eli and his brothers continued to place their profits from the importing business, now headquartered at 313 5th Avenue, into Manhattan commercial properties. Specifically, Eli concentrated his purchases in the areas bounded by Fifth Avenue and Broadway between 14th Street and 35th Street. "If you can't walk to it, don't buy it" was his motto, emphasizing that the secret to his success in the real estate business was strong, efficient and localized management. Indeed, the family's holdings began to read like a city map: 91, 119, 156, 246, 298, 313 Fifth Avenue; 518, 928, 1164, 1165, 1170, 1178, 1181, 1204, 1225, 1234 Broadway. Overall, Eli Haddad had purchased dozens of Manhattan buildings during his lifetime, firmly establishing his family's security for decades to come.
Over the generations, Eli and his brothers amicably went their separate ways, each tossing the building addresses into a hat as a means of determining which family kept which property. Eli's three sons, who as the eldest of the second generation in the business had all learned under Eli's direct tutelage, each played integral roles in expanding and managing the family' assets. Sam continued to grow the family's importing business, while Hiram and Robert oversaw the real estate holdings. After Eli's death in 1966, they continued to purchase Manhattan properties together including 494 Eighth Avenue, 260 West 35th Street and 520 West 20th Street. As the values of their real estate holdings continued to increase, management of the real estate portfolio became the primary focus of the family's business.
Some twenty years later, Hiram and his brothers harmoniously went their separate ways just as their father and uncles had, each taking control of several properties and founding their own management companies. Hiram and his two sons Eli H. Haddad and James Haddad founded General Leasing & Management Corp. in 1981. For over twenty years, Hiram and his sons have adhered to their heritage of a strong work ethic and direct personal management style to guide the family's assets through its second century in business. As an example, 494 Eighth Avenue, a 24-story property on the bustling corner of Eighth Avenue and 35th Street has evolved over the last five years from a garment manufacturing building, into a boutique office property, employing cutting edge elevator and security technologies, and is poised to take advantage of the relocation of Pennsylvania Station to the Farley Post Office across the street.
Beginning in 2004, Eli and James Haddad have returned the family to its acquisitive roots and have begun making new purchases such as the retail condominium at 21 Astor Place, which houses the #1 Starbucks in the United States, as well as 1950 Fulton Street in Brooklyn a retail shopping center anchored by Rite Aid and State Farm Insurance. In the spirit of this renewed attention towards acquisitions, Elijah Equities LLC was born. Elijah Equities LLC will encompass all of the family's future real estate management, development and acquisitions. Projects on the immediate horizon include 520 West 20th Street, a 65,000 square foot industrial property in the "new" gallery district in West Chelsea, which was rezoned in 2005 for residential use as part of the City's West Chelsea Re-Development Plan and proposed High Line Pedestrian Mall project. In June 2006, Elijah Equities completed its purchase of 307 5th Avenue, a 17 story office tower near the Empire State Building.
Over the last quarter-century Hiram has continued to instill in his sons the guiding ideologies learned at his father's side; hard work, honesty in dealings, a conservative long-term approach and most importantly a stellar reputation. Within a few years, it will be time for the fourth generation of Haddads to enter the family business. Hiram, making sure that his grandchildren do not forget their humble roots, always reminds his grandchildren "he was so wealthy, he didn't have to work until he was 11 years old". While no less than a graduate education will be expected of these young men, they will surely continue to get their primary guidance from principles honed and handed down for over eighty years.
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