THE FILM-MAKERS’/ NEW AMERICAN CINEMA GROUP HONORS CHARLES S. COHEN
As owner, president and chief executive officer of Cohen Brothers Realty Corporation (CBRC), Charles S. Cohen has achieved an enviable national reputation for his exceptional business acumen, innovation and creativity at every turn. An entrepreneurial real estate executive in the truest sense, Mr. Cohen, one of the country’s legendary commercial real estate owners/developers with a portfolio of over 12 million square feet of prime properties located in New York, Texas, Florida and Southern California, is one of the rare breed of developers with a vision that is clearly and ultimately defined by design. Beyond his mastery of business transactions, he has brought his impeccable–and innate–taste and style to a wide range of high-profile projects, from office skyscrapers to corporate parks to his newest passion–Design Centers.
While breathing new life into commercial properties, Mr. Cohen has essentially refined the role of the “re-developer”; his ability to reposition and maximize the potential of underutilized buildings has allowed him to carve a special niche within his industry. More recently, he has successfully repositioned and redeveloped the world class Manhattan office building at 623 Fifth Avenue, formerly known as Swiss Bank Tower, into a dynamic multi-tenanted corporate center for elite financial firms and service providers including Merrill Lynch, UBS Securities, and Cargill.
In yet another arena, Mr. Cohen served as lead Executive Producer on the film, “Frozen River,” which was awarded the 2008 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic. Juror and award presenter Quentin Tarantino described the film as “a wonderful depiction of poverty in America. It took my breath away and then somewhere around the last hour, it put my heart in a vice and proceeded to twist that vice until the last frame.” The film went on to win two Spirit Awards and received two Academy Award nominations in major categories. This film was released by Sony Pictures Classics. A lifelong film aficionado, Mr. Cohen is the author of the well-received TriviaMania (Zebra Books), a Q&A Quiz Book that is a veritable bible of movie-related information. He also created, directed and produced short, which was the recipient of a Kodak Movie Award.
Despite his inordinately busy schedule, Mr. Cohen has always found the time to pursue other interests–both professional and personal. In 2008, Mr. Cohen joined the Board of Trustees of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles. He is also the former chairman of the Metro New York Chapter of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO), the international business organization’s largest chapter. Mr. Cohen is a trustee of The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, The Lighthouse International, The Public Theatre and Advisory Board for the Film Makers’ Cooperative and is a member of the Real Estate Board of New York, the Young Men’s and Women’s Real Estate Association, the American Bar Association and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. He is a board member and former chairman of the Federal Law Enforcement Foundation, a position that he held from 1991 to 1993. He is a licensed real estate broker in New York and New Jersey. In 2001, Mr. Cohen received the USO’s prestigious Gold Medal for a lifetime of patriotic service to his country and was honored on both coasts by B’Nai B’rith International for his humanitarian and community service. He received the prestigious Israel Peace Medal in 2002 at a luncheon event in his honor that raised an all-time record $52.4 million for the State of Israel Bonds.
Charles S. Cohen is a 1974 graduate of Tufts University and a 1977 graduate of Brooklyn Law School. He resides in suburban Connecticut (where his home has a movie theatre in it) and New York City. Mr. Cohen is married and has four children.