The Rachel Gardens complex owned by Wilf, his brother Mark, his cousin Leonard and two other investors – Josef Halpern and Ada Reichmann – has been the subject of a grueling legal battle that began in 1992 when Reichmann filed suit claiming the Wilfs cheated them out of their due share of the revenues – going as far as to say the Wilfs employed “organized crime-type activities” to swindle them out of money by giving an inordinate share of the profits to Wilf. Halpern and Reichmann each owned 25 percent in the investment group.
The legal stalemate finally got a verdict in 2013, when Judge Deanne Wilson awarded Reichmann and Halpern $84.5 million in damages in a New Jersey courtroom. As part of her ruling, Wilson ordered that the Rachel Gardens partnership be dissolved and the complex be sold. The Wilfs are appealing the decision.
Less than a year after Judge Wilson’s ruling, Rachel Gardens has been sold – for $136 million. As it turned out the 32 buildings and 764 apartments on 98 acres in Montville, N.J. were such a hot property that, not only did dozens of prominent bidders step up, but the winning bidder – Cammeby’s International – submitted a bid that was $1 million above the asking price. A parcel of that price range rarely sells as quickly as this one did – bids went out in May – much less for more than what was being asked.
Whether the Wilfs will get the lower court decision overturned may take more years to solve, but the one aspect of the court ruling that was enacted was that the complex at the center of two decades of legal squabbling was sold … for a big sum.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.