A somewhat mysterious downtown property group, Central Focus LLC, has added to its holdings downtown, at an exceptional cost.
Central Focus bought 125 State St. last month for exactly $1 million from Harold Langhammer, who bought the building in 1992 for $67,600. The building has a 2009 assessed value of $287,000.
Marty Rifkin, the only name listed in connection with Central Focus, is vague about his group's plans for the building, which currently houses the gift shop Shangri La Collections. He is also vague about why it is worth so much money.
"Right now we're probably going to hang onto it," he says. "More than likely it will be the restoration of the block. We're not going to do any tearing down."
One reliable source says businessman Jerome Frautschi, who donated over $200 million for the Overture Center, is involved with Central Focus, but Rifkin says: "I don't ever disclose any of my partners."
According to the city's website, Central Focus now owns 121, 125 and 129 State St., and 120 and 122 W. Mifflin St. Acquiring all five properties, starting in 2002, cost Central Focus a total of $5.2 million. The buildings have a total assessed value of $2.7 million.