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NYC Developer George Kaufman Dies At 89

NYC Developer George Kaufman Dies At 89

George Kaufman, the chairman of the Kaufman Organization and Kaufman Astoria Studios, died this week, the company announced.

Kaufman, who would have turned 90 next month, joined the family company in the 1950s. The company, formed over a century ago, has a portfolio of around 6M SF of commercial and residential properties in the city.

In the 1980s, Kaufman bought the Kaufman Astoria Studios in the then-underdeveloped Queens neighborhood. The studio now houses “Sesame Street” and has been home to the filming of “Orange Is the New Black,” “Men in Black 3” and “Nurse Jackie”.

“He was a visionary who saw the promise of film and television production work in New York long before it became an integral part of the city’s economy,” Kaufman Astoria Studios President and CEO Hal Rosenbluth said. “George was so much more than a real estate developer. He understood deep in his bones the importance of investing in New York’s communities because they are the very foundation of the city’s greatness.”

Kaufman is survived by his wife, Mariana, and his daughter, Cynthia.

“I never understood why people retire,” Kaufman told the New York Times in 2011. ”What do you do?”