How To Have A Quick Divorce In New York
Maybe you are interested in the not-so-messy divorce of one of New York’s richest people, like billionaire real estate investor Andrew Farkas.
Andrew’s 2016 divorce from his wife of 15 years, playwright Sandi Goff Farkas, only made news after it was over, when Andrew, then 56, grabbed headlines by turning his attentions to a 22-year-old Harvard senior.
According to Page Six, the May-December couple were having a splendid time together in spite of their 34-year age difference.
How did Andrew and Sandi, parents of two young sons, manage to have what friends described as a pleasant divorce?
Well, it sounds like money played a big role in greasing those skids.
Said one friend to Page Six, “He paid her about three times as much as he needed to. The divorce was quick and super-amicable.”
For Andrew, money really is no object.
Not only is he the founder and chief executive of Island Capital Group, a real estate-oriented private equity firm, but he is also a scion of an earlier era of New York business acumen.
As the grandson of George Farkas, who founded Alexander’s department store, Andrew once recalled to the New York Times, “I remember as a young boy, literally 5 or 6 years old, walking down Fifth Avenue holding his hand. The man could not walk half a block without people coming up to him saying hello and shaking his hand. And I thought that was so cool. I wanted to be just like him.”
Andrew attended elite schools and spent ample time in his youth at the family’s home in Jamaica, where he developed a love for sailing that would translate into his adult business ventures decades later.
His father encouraged him to go to Harvard, from which he graduated in 1982, and where he would serve for two years as president of the Hasty Pudding Club, the country’s oldest collegiate social club.
He majored in economics, and upon graduating, headed to New York and dove into a role in real estate investment banking at a large brokerage firm.
The job ended abruptly after just a year and a half and a blow up with the company’s chairman.
Andrew took out a loan for $56,000 and started Metropolitan Asset Group, which structured and sold real estate tax shelters.
Once again, Andrew’s efforts weren’t to lead to long term success.
After a couple of high-flying years, Metropolitan cratered, and Andrew worked feverishly to protect his partners and investors, ending the company’s run with $10 million in personal debt.
About this episode of his career, he told the Times, “My ambition was to be broke. To be broke would be $10 million better off than where I was.”
His attempts to protect his fellow travelers in the endeavor wasn’t forgotten though, and several years later, he raised $5 million – much of it from the same investors – in startup funds to launch Insignia Financial Group.
The company aimed to buy up real estate portfolios from failing partnerships, and Andrew set his sights on becoming the largest real estate company in New York.
This time, the gamble paid off, and Insignia delivered handsome returns to Andrew and his investors until 2003, when he sold and moved on to launch Island Capital Group.
By that time, Andrew had walked down the aisle twice.
His first marriage, which produced two daughters, ended in the 1990s.
In 2001, he married Sandi Goff, an advertising executive and graduate of Columbia’s MFA Playwriting program.
Sandi is herself a playwright and booster for various philanthropic causes, often with an emphasis on the theater.
Together, the couple would go on to inject significant capital, both human and financial, into New York City’s cultural and theatrical communities, all while Andrew’s Island Capital grew to manage a global real estate portfolio worth billions.
His company doesn’t just handle the buying and selling of physical properties.
Part of Andrew’s portfolio includes Island Global Yachting, which focuses on the development of live-work-play marinas suitable to serve as ports of call for mega-yachts and their ultra-wealthy owners.
The company has already put more than $150 million into the island of St. Thomas for the first phase of the Yacht Haven Grande project, and has been selected to develop and manage marinas in an ambitious development program that will add 932 miles of waterfront property in the city-state of Dubai.
Island Capital is also working closely with leaders in the country to develop a secondary mortgage system and investment strategies.
In 2006, Sandi joined the board of The Lark Theater, and the following year, she worked with her husband and The Lark to develop a fellowship program for young playwrights.
Andrew purchased an apartment in the heart of the Theater District, and Sandi approached a dozen of her friends and asked for a donation of $2,000 a piece as a stipend.
Each year, the Playwrights of New York (PoNY) awards a 12-month residency in the “PoNY Apartment,” complete with financial support and integration with The Lark’s Play Development Center.
Numerous careers have been boosted as a result, and the one-of-a-kind program is a highly regarded way to help playwrights hone their craft in the heart of New York without the distractions and constraints of paying to live in the city.
It’s not clear exactly what led to the end of Andrew’s and Sandi’s marriage, or whether the Harvard girlfriend was present in Andrew’s life before or after the divorce, but the couple reportedly placed their five-story, 11,000-square-foot Upper East Side townhouse on the market last summer for a cool $42.5 million, and Sandi headed to the Hamptons to buy a place for herself and her sons in Sag Harbor.
The status of the PoNY Apartment is unknown.
Hiring A Queens Family Law Attorney For An Uncontested, Negotiated Divorce Settlement
When your marriage in Queens is ending, an experienced divorce lawyer can make a big difference for you.
If you’d like to negotiate a divorce settlement quickly in Queens, then the experienced attorneys at our firm can help.
Call the team at Zelenitz, Shapiro & D’Agostino today at 718-523-1111 for a free consultation with an experienced Queens divorce attorney.