The Current Life of Real Estate Mogul Mo Vaughn

Former Red Sox star, and Major League Baseball MVP, Mo Vaughn, proves that athletes can have a successful life once they retire and do something positive for the community and for folks in need.  If only more athletes took after him.

His six-year-old company, Omni New York LLC, is on its way to becoming a major player in the low-income housing world. It has acquired 4,000 apartments, most of them in New York State’s scrappiest neighborhoods, housing the poorest of tenants (98 percent of them qualify for Section 8 rent subsidies).In a city obsessed with the gilded cocoons of the rich, the company has forged a reputation for turning around properties once deemed untouchable in the caste system of New York real estate — like the Plaza, where drug dealers once openly sold their own brand of heroin, guarded by pit bulls whose food was laced with gunpowder.

Mr. Vaughn, both teddy-bearish and intimidating, is the leader of an unlikely triumvirate. His Omni partners are a Russian expatriate named Eugene Schneur, 38, his lawyer and friend since baseball days, and Robert Bennett, 46, who has years of experience financing low-income housing. The firm began buying in 2004, focusing on so-called acquisition rehabs — older properties in various stages of decrepitude, often with absentee landlords and teetering finances.

Since then, it has bought and rehabilitated 23 sites in New York, Massachusetts and Wyoming for a total of $503 million. Other deals worth $205 million for 1,000 units, most in the Bronx, are scheduled to close in September.

I feel like a complete jackass for making the crack, “huh, figured he woulda ate himself by now”, after reading the article.  It’s really hard to understate just how popular he was in the post-Clemens/pre-Nomah Red Sox era.  (Thanks, Zack!)

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