Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
Kenneth Fisher: Partner, Fisher Brothers | BuildingNY:NYStories

Kenneth Fisher: Partner, Fisher Brothers | BuildingNY:NYStories


♪ [THEME MUSIC] ♪>>>LITHUANIA VIA MINSK ON A BOAT? THEY COME OVER, STONE PEOPLE, STONE MASONS, BRICK LAYERS? NAH, WE’RE NOT GOING TO BE BRICK LAYERS ANYMORE. WE’RE GOING TO GO OUT TO QUEENS AND WE’RE GOING TO GO OUT TO RIVER DALE AND BUILD HOMES AND BUILD HOTELS AND WE’LL BUILD IN FLORIDA AND WE’LL GET INVOLVED AND YOU KNOW WHAT? WE’RE GOING TO START BUILDING BUILDINGS. NOT BUILDINGS. WE’LL BUILD EDIFICES THAT PEOPLE WILL KNOW THE FISHER BROTHERS AND WHO’S HERE TODAY? THE THIRD GENERATION OF THE FISHER BROTHERS. KEN FISHER, THANKS FOR BEING HERE. >>THANK YOU, MICHAEL.>>TELL US ABOUT GRANDPA. I’M NOT SURE IF IT WAS WITH A “C” OR A “K”. >>KARL WAS A VERY STRONG MAN, A VERY QUIET MAN.>>HOW OLD WAS HE WHEN HE CAME OVER? PROBABLY IN HIS LATE 20s. HE WAS A STONE MASON BY TRADE AND YOU KNOW, EVERYONE ELSE CAME HERE TO GET A BETTER LIFE, AND HE CAME WITH HIS WIFE AND A FEW CHILDREN THAT HE HAD OVER IN LITHUANIA.>>MARTIN.>>MARTIN WAS ONE OF THEM. MARTIN WAS WHAT WE CONSIDER TO BE THE FOUNDING PARTNER ALONG WITH MY GRANDFATHER LARRY AND MY UNCLE ZACK.>>NOW, MARTIN WHO IS THE NEXT PATRIARCH OF THE FAMILY FROM YOUR GRANDFATHER, THEY GET INTO THE MASON BUSINESS. >>UH-HUH. >>SO THEY’RE WORKING AS LABORERS AND DOING CONSTRUCTION AND ALL OF THIS. HOW DID HE GET TO THE NEXT PHASE THAT THEY START BUILDING RESIDENTIAL HOMES?>>THE BROTHERS WERE VERY STRATEGIC THINKERS, AND SO IT WAS THE LOGICAL PROGRESSION. THEY WERE BRICK LAYERS AND THEY STARTED TO CALL IN TRADES AS THEY NEEDED THEM. THE PLUMBERS, ELECTRICIANS AND SO FORTH BECAUSE ALL OF THE BUILDINGS WERE BRICK AND MORTAR. AND THEN IT WAS, I THINK IT WAS ZACHARY WHO GOT A LOAN AND THE BROTHERS BOUGHT THEIR FIRST PROPERTY AND DEVELOPED IT THEMSELVES AND THEY BECAME OWNER-BUILDERS AROUND THE ’30s. >>EVEN THOUGH THEY WENT INTO THE BUSINESS IN THEIR 20s, PROBABLY, THE REAL CREATION OF THE FISHER BROTHER ENTITY WAS 1938.>>AS WE KNOW IT TODAY, YES. WE CALL IT, YOU KNOW, BACK THEN WHEN CARL CAME OVER AND STARTED TO APPLY HIS TRADE HERE, WAS THE BIRTH — WAS THE OFFICIAL BROTHER, BUT REALLY, THE COMPANY THAT WE KNOW TODAY WAS FOUNDED AROUND THE ’30s. >>THE FISHER BROTHERS ARE BUILDING THE BUILDING WITH FORESTERS AND THEY BUILT THE IMPERIAL HOUSE IN MANHATTAN AND THEY BUILT PARK 5. THEY BUILT THE SHERRY HOTEL IN FLORIDA. WHEN DID THE FISHER BROTHERS, THE THREE OF THEM GET INVOLVED AND DECIDE THAT THEY’RE GOING TO BUILD OFFICE BUILDINGS?>>WELL, THE 30s AND THE 40s, THE 40s OBVIOUSLY WERE THE HOTELS IN MIAMI BEACH AND THE BROTHERS WOULD GO DOWN THERE AND AGAIN, BEING THE STRATEGIC THINKERS THEY WERE SAW THE NEED AND WAS QUICKLY, YOU KNOW, CAME IN AND DEVELOPED. AND THE ’30s AND THE ’40s IT BEGAN TO BE SUBSTANTIAL, IF YOU WILL. THEY LOOKED AT COMMERCIAL AS THEIR ULTIMATE GOAL. PROBABLY AROUND ’56. >>RIGHT. MARTIN PASSES ON IN 1955, I BELIEVE.>>NO, MARTIN PASSED AWAY IN 1976.>>’76. DURING THAT PERIOD OF TIME THE FAMILY STARTS THEIR FIRST BUILDING AND I THINK THEIR FIRST OFFICE BUILDING WAS 400 PARK AVENUE.>>YES. YES. IT WAS ON A GROUND LEASE FROM THE BENISONES. THEY ASSEMBLED A CORE GROUP OF PARTNERS AND BUILT 400 PARK AVENUE. THAT OPENED IN 1956 AND 1957. THEY GOT INVOLVED WHERE ONE OF THEM WAS DOWNTOWN WHICH WAS ONE OF THE HIGHEST LEASES EVER WITH THE COMPANY. AND THEN THERE WERE THE OTHER BUILDINGS THAT THE J.P. MORGAN, THE JP FABRIC COMPANY. BURLINGTON BROOKS WHICH IS 1345 THE AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS WHICH IS THE ALLIANCE BURNSTEIN BUILDING AND ONE OF THEM WAS 299 PARK.>>WHEN DID THEY BUILD IT?>>1967. WE HAD AN ISSUE AND I REMEMBER SITTING IN THE CONSTRUCTION OFFICE ONE DAY WITH MY FATHER. HE GOT A PHONE CALL AT THE TIME, AND HE HAD JUST BEEN PROMOTED AND A PIECE — WE HAD A WIND STORM AND A PIECE OF THE QDECK HAD BEEN LIFTED UP AND BLOWN BLOCKS AWAY AND SO WE HAD TO GET IN AND MY FATHER TOOK ME ALONG. ONE OF THE THINGS I ALWAYS REMEMBER IS THE SMELL OF CONCRETE, THE SMELL OF CURING CONCRETE AND EVERY TIME MY KIDS WALK INTO A BUILDING AND THEY SMELL IT. I SAY YOU DON’T REALIZE IT, BUT IT’S IN YOUR BLOOD. IT REALLY IS.>>THE SECOND GENERATION JOINED THE COMPANY PROBABLY IN THE ’50s AND EARLY ’60s. LESTER, MARTIN’S OLDEST SON JOINED THE BUSINESS. HE WAS AN ENGINEER BY TRADE AND BEGAN SUPERVISING ALL OF THE CONSTRUCTION. >>FATHER IS ARNOLD. YES.>>HE WAS BROUGHT IN IN THE ’60s AND HAD SPENT 13 YEARS AS A LABORER. LITERALLY FROM THE GROUND UP AND HE WAS A VETERAN. WHEN HE GOT OUT OF THE ARMY HE CAME IN AND IMMEDIATELY WENT TO WORK AS A LABORER.>>THEN THERE WAS ANTHONY OR TONY WHO BECAME ONE OF MY BEST FRIENDS AND MY MENTOR, MY OLDER BROTHER, IF YOU WILL, AND RICHARD FISHER SO THERE WAS FOUR, I WOULD SAY, IN THE SECOND GENERATION.>>AND DURING THE SECOND GENERATION THEY WENT INTO THE CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS REALLY BY TAKING OVER PLAZA CONSTRUCTION.>>YES. IN THE EARLY ’80s TONY AND RICHARD CAME UP WITH THE CONCEPT THAT THERE WERE WAYS THAT WE COULD CUT A VALUE CREATE AND SO TONY AND RICHARD DECIDED TO FORM OUR CLEANING COMPANY, AN INTERIOR ALTERATION COMPANY AND A SECURITY AND THE PROPERTIES HAD TWO GARAGES AND WE TOOK OVER THE MANAGEMENT OF THE GARAGES, AS WELL BECAUSE WE SAID, YOU KNOW WHAT? WE’RE MANAGERS AND WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO THIS OURSELVES. YOU WERE BORN WHEN?>>I WAS BORN IN 1958.>>YOU ORIGINALLY LIVED UP IN RIVERDALE.>>YES.>>YOU WENT TO PUBLIC SCHOOL IN RIVERDALE AND THE FAMILY MOVED TO HARRISON, RIGHT?>>YES. WE MOVED TO HARRISON AROUND 1970. >>SO TALK TO ME ABOUT GROWING UP IN RIVERDALE OR HARRISON.>>LIKE NIGHT AND DAY. IN RIVERDALE THERE WEREN’T MANY PLACES TO PLAY BALL. WE WOULD PLAY IN THE ASPHALT SCHOOL YARD. WE PLAYED STICK BALL AND WE WOULD PLAY FOOTBALL, AND IT WAS PS-24 AND DIDN’T REALLY HAVE A PLACE OR ANY FIELDS AS WE KNOW IT AND ALL OF A SUDDEN ONE DAY WE PACK UP AND WE MOVE UP TO HARRISON, NEW YORK. AND THE ONE THING I REMEMBER, MICHAEL, ABOUT MOVING THERE WAS THAT IT WAS SO QUIET AND WE MOVED ON THE PARKWAY AND THERE WAS A FIRE STATION ACROSS THE STREET WHERE I ALWAYS WOULD JUMP UP WHEN I HEARD IT BECAUSE I WANTED TO BE A FIREMAN. WHEN WE MOVED TO HARRISON THE ONE THING I’LL NEVER FORGET IS HOW QUIET IT WAS. I REMEMBER THE AIR-CONDITIONING WHICH WAS ON AUTOMATIC WOULD KICK IN AND IT WOULD WAKE ME UP IMMEDIATELY. SO IT WAS DIFFICULT, BUT ULTIMATELY I LEARNED OBVIOUSLY TO LOVE IT BECAUSE I WAS A BALLPLAYER. AND ALL OF A SUDDEN ALL THESE BALL FIELDS AND THESE OPEN SPACES BECAME AVAILABLE TO ME AND IT WAS — >>HOW DOES A KID FROM HARRISON DECIDE TO GO UP TO ITHICA, NEW YORK?>>WELL, I DECIDED, YOU KNOW, I WANTED TO STAY CLOSE, BUT I DIDN’T WANT TO BE TOO CLOSE, AND ONE OF MY BEST FRIENDS AT MY SCHOOL WAS GOING ITHICA AND HE SAID TAKE A LOOK AT IT. WHEN I DID I FELL IN LOVE WITH IT. IT WAS VERY COLD, BUT IT WAS A GREAT PLACES TO GO TO SCHOOL. >>YOUR DNA FROM THE RELATIVES, YOU DECIDED TO LEAVE EARLY AND YOU WENT TO WORK FOR THE BUSINESS AND GOT INVOLVED WITH CONSTRUCTION. >>I DID. IT’S ONE OF THE REGRETS OF MY LIFE. I WAS IN SUCH A RUSH TO GET INTO THE BUSINESS THAT I DIDN’T FINISH AND IT’S SOMETHING THAT WILL NEVER — >>YOU GOT THE HONORARY DOCTORATE LATER ON SO IT DIDN’T MATTER. >>WHICH WAS WONDERFUL. ONE OF THE BEST DAYS OF MY LIFE. LET’S TALK ABOUT ANOTHER DAY BECAUSE YOU’RE NOW WORKING IN THE FAMILY BUSINESS AND BUILDING AND OTHER ASPECTS AND WE’LL TALK ABOUT THE FUTURE TODAY AND ONE DAY YOU GO OUT TO CALIFORNIA? TELL THE STORY ABOUT CALIFORNIA.>>OH!>>BECAUSE THAT’S HOW YOU MET TAMMY.>>YES. ONE OF MY FRIENDS WAS OFFERED AN OPPORTUNITY TO INVEST IN A CLUB AND HE WAS GOING TO MOVE OUT THERE BECAUSE THAT WAS HIS BUSINESS AND HE CAME TO ME AND SAID TO ME WOULD YOU LIKE TO COME WITH ME? I’M NOT GOING TO MOVE THERE, BUT I’LL INVEST WITH YOU, AND IT TURNED OUT TO BE A PLACE CALLED ROCKSBURY WHICH WE ALL REMEMBER STUDIO 54 OF THE ’70s, AND IT WAS THE STUDIO 54 OF BEVERLY HILLS AND IT WAS ONE OF THOSE THINGS THAT WAS COMPLETELY — IT HAPPENED BY ACCIDENT.>>THE NEW YORK CITY BUILDING GOES OUT TO L.A. >>YES, WHICH BY THE WAY, KIND OF MIRRORED MY GRANDFATHER LARRY WHO SPENT A LITTLE BIT OF TIME OUT THERE, AS WELL, AND I’LL NEVER FORGET THE TALK WE HAD WHEN I GOT BACK ONE TIME, BUT YES. IT TURNED OUT TO BE A PHENOMENAL SUCCESS. IT WAS THE STUDIO 54 OF BEVERLY HILLS AND SO YOU MEET MANY PEOPLE WHEN YOU OWN A CLUB AND I BECAME ENTHRALLED WITH THE LIFE OUT THERE AND THERE WAS THIS GIRL THERE THAT I JUST FELL IN LOVE WITH IMMEDIATELY. SHE DID NOT KNOW THAT I WAS ONE OF THE OWNERS. SO SHE THOUGHT THAT THE ONLY PEOPLE THAT GOT THE TREATMENT THAT I DID WAS EITHER CELEBRITY OR AN OWNER OR SOMEBODY WHO AS THEY SAY, DABBLED IN THE ILLEGALS. I DID, OBVIOUSLY NOT, AND I HAD TO CONVINCE HER AND I WAS ONE OF THE OWNERS AND I GOT HER TO GO ON A DATE WITH ME.>>YOU’RE ENGAGED IN, WHAT? SIX WEEKS?>>WE WERE ENGAGED SIX WEEKS LATER. IT WAS COSTING ME A FORTUNE IN FLOWERS.>>SUBSEQUENTLY, TELL ME ABOUT YOUR KIDS. WHAT DO YOU HAVE?>>THREE OF THE BEST CHILDREN.>>THE NAMES OF THE KIDS?>>CRYSTAL, MY OLDEST IS 35. BRITTANY, MY MIDDLE IS 23 AND JOSH WILL BE 21. ARE ANY OF THEM IN THE BUSINESS YET?>>CRYSTAL CAME INTO THE BUSINESS FOR A LITTLE WHILE. SHE ULTIMATELY GOT MARRIED AND TO A GREAT GUY. A GREAT, GREAT GUY. AFTER 2001 THE FISHER FAMILY SAW A NUMBER OF UNCERTAIN AND TERRIBLE EVENTS. WHAT HAPPENED?>>WELL, LARRY PASSED AWAY AND MY GRANDFATHER PASSED AWAY IN 2001. WE HAD AMAZING LONGEVITY IN MY FAMILY AS A LOT DO. SO WE DIDN’T EXPERIENCE DEATH OF NATURAL CAUSES AND THE OLDER FAMILY MEMBERS WOULD PASS AWAY, BUT IN 2003 WE HAD AN ABNORMAL YEAR. MY BROTHER’S SON PASSED AWAY AT THE AGE OF 12 AND ABOUT FOUR WEEKS AFTER THAT MY COUSIN TONY WHO WAS, I TOLD YOU, IN THE LEAD UP WAS MY MENTOR, HE WAS SEVEN YEARS OLDER THAN ME, AND HE WAS MY MENTOR, MY TEACHER, MY FRIEND AND MY BIG BROTHER AND WAS EVERYTHING TO ME AND AFTER TONY PASSED AWAY THERE WARRANT A LOT OF TIME TO MOURN. MY WIFE TAMMY GOT SICK WITH LUPUS AND GUILLAIN-BARRE THE ONSET OF LUPUS, AND WAS PARALIZED FOR SIX MONTHS. I WAS RUNNING FROM MEETINGS TO PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCES AND BACK TO MEETINGS, MICHAEL, BECAUSE YOU KNOW, TAMMY — LOSING TAMMY, YOU KNOW, IN THE SENSE THAT SHE COULDN’T DO THE THINGS THAT SHE WANTED TO DO WAS ENORMOUSLY DIFFICULT FOR ME AND IT WAS COMPOUNDED BY THE FACT THAT SO MUCH OF WHAT TONE HE DONE WAS NOW MY RESPONSIBILITY. SO MY JOB DESCRIPTION GREW, BUT IT ALSO GREW AT HOME AND THEN THE NEXT EVENT. THERE WAS ANOTHER FATHER, IF YOU WILL THAT I WAS THE SON BORN TO THAT FATHER IN TERMS OF BUSINESS AND THAT WAS SAM KLEINER. SAM WAS OUR IN-HOUSE COUNSEL FOR MANY, MANY YEARS. SAM WOULD SIT ON THE COUCH IN MY OFFICE EVERY DAY FOR 20 YEARS. HE WAS PROBABLY ONE OF THE CLOSEST PEOPLE TO ME THAT I’VE EVER HAD. SO, SAM CAME DOWN WITH CANCER AND DIED IN NOVEMBER, NOVEMBER 17, 2003, I THINK THAT’S WHEN ALL OF THE BAD EVENT HIS HIT ME BECAUSE NOT ONE OF THEM WAS A NATURAL EVENT. NOT ONE OF THEM SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED. SAM SHOULD BE ALIVE TODAY. SO I LOST ANOTHER MENTOR, ANOTHER BEST FRIEND, IF YOU WILL, AND THEN A WEEK AFTER THAT WE LOST MY 21-YEAR-OLD COUSIN ANDREW IN A CAR CRASH ON THANKSGIVING MORNING AND SO OBVIOUSLY, THE COMPARISONS TO THE KENNEDY FAMILY WERE BEING MADE AND IT WAS — IT ANGERED ME, YOU KNOW, TO HEAR THINGS LIKE THAT. WE WERE GOING THROUGH A VERY, VERY DIFFICULT PERIOD. >>AND A COUPLE OF YEARS LATER ANOTHER UNCLE DIED. >>RICHARD. MY COUSIN RICHARD PASSED AWAY IN 2006. SO MUCH OF THE FAMILY THAT I WAS BORN, THAT I CAME INTO THIS BUSINESS WITH WERE NOW GONE. THE ONLY ONE THAT WAS LEFT WAS MY FATHER AND INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH MY FATHER WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE HERE. MY FATHER HAD BEEN THROUGH SEVERAL EPISODES, THREE HEART ATTACKS, TWO BY 40, THE AGE OF 40. HE’S HAD THREE TRIPLE BYPASSES. HE’S HAD MULTIPLE ANGIOPLASTIES AND THE FACT THAT HE’S STILL HERE IS A MIRACLE.>>LET’S TALK ABOUT THE FISHER FAMILY. TODAY YOU’RE RESPONSIBLE FOR LEASING AND MANAGING THE PROPERTIES. YOUR COUSIN WINSTON IS RESPONSIBLE FOR DEVELOPING AND FINANCING.>>STEPHEN’S RUNNING THE FAMILY OFFICE, BUT ONE OF THE THINGS THAT THE FISHER FAMILY IS KNOWN FOR IS PHILANTHROPY AND YOU’VE TAKEN BASICALLY THE LEAD ON THAT SIDE EVEN THOUGH EVERYONE ELSE IS INVOLVED, IT’S YOUR LEAD. LET’S TALK ABOUT THE INTREPID AND THE FISHER HOUSES.>>I WOULD LIKE TO THINK, MICHAEL THAT THE INTREPID WOULD LEAD TO THE REBIRTH OF THE WEST SIDE WATERFRONT. YOU REMEMBER, OBVIOUSLY, THE WEST SIDE BACK IN THE ’70s AND WHAT IT LOOKED LIKE. IT WAS EVERYTHING THAT WAS WRONG IN NEW YORK COULD BE ENCAPSULATED ON THAT WEST SIDE WATERFRONT. YOU HAD DRUGS, PROSTITUTION. YOU HAD THE GANGS AND EVERYTHING ELSE, AND SO A GROUP OF BUSINESSMEN, TEX McRARY, MIKE STERN, A VERY FAMOUS AUTHOR HAD APPROACHED THEM WITH THE STORY THAT THE “USS INTREPID” WHICH WAS IN THREE WARS, WAS THE PRIMARY SPACE RECOVERY SHIP FOR NASA WAS GOING TO BE DECOMMISSIONED AND CHOPPED UP, AND I SAY SOLD AS RAZOR BLADES, AND IT WAS WHAT I CALL THE DROP-DEAD ERA IN NEW YORK BECAUSE IF YOU REMEMBER THE HEADLINE, THE CITY DROPPED DEAD. OUR INTEREST RATES WERE 22% AND NEW YORK WAS CRATERING.>>SO THEY GOT ZACK INTO IT AND ZACK ESSENTIALLY MADE THE DEAL, SAVED THE SHIP AND WENT TO ED KOCH WHO WAS MAYOR AT THE TIME AND SAID TO ED KOCH, I WANT TO BRING THE INTREPID TO NEW YORK, BUT I WANT TO PUT IT ON THE EAST SIDE AND IT WAS ED KOCH WHO CONVINCED ZACK TO PUT IT ON THE WEST SIDE. THE CITY WOULD BUILD APPEAR AND IT WAS A PRIVATE/PUBLIC PARTNERSHIP FROM THE START AND IT WAS THE FOUNDATION OF EVERYTHING WE DO WHEN IT COMES TO THE PHILANTHROPY WITH THE MILITARY AND THE THINGS THAT WE’RE KNOWN FOR AND IN 1981, THE “USS INTREPID” WAS PERMANENTLY MOORED ON 46th STREET, PIER 86 IN MANHATTAN, AND IT IS NOW THE NORTHERNMOST ANCHOR OF THE HUDSON RIVER PARK, AND I WANT TO THINK, AND I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE WILL AGREE THAT THERE WOULD BE NO HUDSON RIVER PARK TODAY HAD THE INTREPID NOT BEEN THERE.>>THIS WAS ZACK’S PART OF HIS REPAYMENT THAT HE WASN’T IN THE MILITARY, AND THAT HE WANTED TO GIVE BACK EXTRA HARD FOR THE MILITARY BECAUSE OF THE INTREPID. MY FATHER WAS THE ONLY VETERAN IN THE FAMILY. ZACK DID TRY TO ENLIST IN WORLD WAR II. HE HAD SUFFEREDED A KNEE INJURY FROM A CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENT. HE COULDN’T SERVE AND HE WANTED TO JOIN THE MARINES. SO THE BROTHERS BUILT COASTAL FORTIFICATIONS AND DID WHATEVER THEY COULD DO TO HELP WITH THE SECURITY OF THE COUNTRY AT HOME, BUT ZACK NEVER GOT OVER THE FACT THAT HE COULDN’T SERVE, AND I THINK THAT BOTHERED HIM FOR A LONG, LONG TIME.>>TODAY YOU SERVE AS THE CO-CHAIR OF THE INTREPID. >>WE ARE CO-CHAIRMEN OF THE INTREPID TODAY SO IT’S KIND OF GONE AND IT’S SOMETHING THAT THE FAMILY FEELS VERY STRONGLY ABOUT KEEPING IN THE FAMILY.>>LET’S TALK ABOUT FISHER HOUSE, AND HOW THAT HAPPENEDED AND WHAT IT IS TODAY.>>AFTER ZACK HAD BROUGHT THE INTREPID IN NEW YORK HE WAS SO ENAMORED WITH WHAT HE’D DONE AND THE IMPACT THAT HE WAS HAVING AND THE MILITARY, BY THE WAY, WAS THRILLED WITH IT BECAUSE THERE WAS NOTHING LIKE THIS OF ITS KIND BEFORE. A PRIVATE EFFORT TO BRING IN AN OLDER SHIP THAT WAS BEING DECOMMISSIONED AND SAVED. THIS WAS UNHEARD OF AT THE TIME AND SO HE MADE A PHONE CALL TO THE WIFE OF CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS AND PAULINE TOAST, AND HE WAS THE CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS AND A CLOSE FRIEND OF ZACK’S AND ELIZABETH, AND SHE TOLD HIM A STORY ABOUT GOING TO BETHESDA NAVAL HOSPITAL AND IT WAS OBVIOUS SOMEONE WAS SLEEPING IN IT. WHY AREN’T YOU IN THE CAR AND WHY AREN’T YOU IN A HOTEL. I’M IN THE MILITARY. I’M SERVING IN THE MILITARY, AND I CAN’T AFFORD A HOTEL ROOM BECAUSE THEY DON’T MAKE A LOT OF MONEY AND MY WIFE IS HOSPITALIZED AND THIS IS MY ONLY OPTION SO SHE TOLD ZACK. NOW ZACK SAYS THAT I’M A BUILDER. I HAVE ACCESS TO ARCHITECTS. I CAN BUILD A HOME. THAT’S WHAT I DID AND THAT WAS THE BIRTH OF FISHER HOUSE WHICH WAS 1991. BETHESDA IN BROOK ARMY MEDICAL CENTER.>>SO YOU BUILT THESE HOMES WITH — >>FOUR ORIGINAL HOMES WITH MONEY FROM ZACK’S POCKET IN THE.>>THESE WERE HOMES FOR HOW MANY PEOPLE?>>IN THE BEGINNING THERE WERE ONLY FIVE ROOM, FIVE OR SIX ROOMS. IT WAS ONLY 4,000 OR 5,000 SQUARE FEET OF HOUSE. SO BY TODAY’S STANDARDS THESE WERE VERY SMALL.>>LET’S MOVE ON WHERE FISHER HOUSE IS TODAY.>>I TOOK FISHER HOUSE OVER IN EARNEST IN 2002. THERE WERE ALMOST 27 HOUSES OR 28 HOUSES AT THE TIME. TODAY THERE ARE 72 FISHER HOUSES AROUND THE WORLD AND I’M THE CHAIRMAN OF FISHER HOUSE. IT’S ONE OF MY ABSOLUTE PASSIONS. IT STARTED WITH THE DESIRE TO CONTINUE A LEGACY, AND ALL OF A SUDDEN I WAKE UP ONE DAY AND IT IS’S PASSION AND I MEAN, A FIERCE PASSION. >>THERE WASN’T A FISHER HOUSE BUILT IN NEW YORK WITH ALL OF THE WORK AND THE FAMILY’S INVOLVEMENT IN NEW YORK IT’S REALLY GREAT THAT 2017 WOULD SEE THE BUILDING OF A FISHER HOUSE. WHERE IS THAT GOING TO BE?>>AT THE BRONX VA. >>SO THIS WILL BE ON LAND. THE DEAL, I BELIEVE, YOU SAID TO ME IS THE PROPERTY IS DONATED FROM THE VA.>>IT’S ALL FEDERAL LAND.>>FEDERAL LAND THAT IS GIVEN OVER TO THE CHARITY TO BUILD A HOUSE.>>WE ARE DEEDED THE LAND TEMPORARILY. WE WILL THEN BUILD THE HOUSE, AND TODAY, THE TWO THAT WE’RE BUILDING IN THE BRONX WOULD BE 16,000 BARE NEED. >>THIS IS FOR VETERANS FAMILIES WHEN THEY’RE IN A FACILITY. >>THEY STAY IN THE FISHER HOUSE VERY MUCH LIKE THE RONALD McDONALD HOUSE FUNCTIONS. THE FAMILY WILL COME IN, STAY AS LONG AS THEY NEED TO. NO CHARGE.>>THE DEDICATION TO THE NEW HOMES WILL BE BUILT WHEN?>>WE’RE GOING TO BREAK GROUND AND WE HAVEN’T ANNOUNCED THIS YET SO WE’LL ANNOUNCE IT HERE AND WE’LL BREAK GROUND ON MAY 25th AND AS I SAY, THERE WILL BE TWO HOUSES THERE, AND IT’S REALLY SOMETHING THAT’S VERY, VERY SPECIAL TO ME BECAUSE I GREW UP A MILE AWAY AND THE IRONY OF IRONIES, MICHAEL IS THAT ONE OF THE HOSPITALS ON THE LIST IS THERE ARE THREE VAs IN NEW YORK CITY AND THAT WAS ON THE LIST A FEW YEARS AGO, AND I THOUGHT THAT THAT WAS VERY KIND OF APROPOS BECAUSE THE BROTHERS STARTED IN BROOKLYN. SINCE ZACK FOUNDED FISHER HOUSE THAT IT WOULD BE A PERFECT PLACE TO HONOR ZACK’S LEGACY, AND AS IT TURNED OUT, THAT WAS SCRAPPED. THEY TOOK IT OFF THE LIST AND IT WAS IN THE PLACE WHERE THEY BUILT MANY OF THEIR HOMES AND THE BRONX. NOT DIRECTLY THE VA AND RIVERDALE IS NOT TOO FAR. >>NOT TOO FAR. ONLY ABOUT A MILE, I WOULD SAY.>>THE FAMILY LIVED IN THE BRONX.>>AND WE LIVED IN THE BRONX. WHERE I GREW UP. IN A WAY, THE FISHER HOUSE HAS COME HOME AND THE IMPACT THAT ITS HAD IS SOMETHING THAT YOU’VE GOT TO PINCH YOURSELF BECAUSE IT’S REALLY BITTERSWEET. IT’S NOT SOMETHING THAT YOU WALK AROUND AND YOU BRAG ABOUT BECAUSE THIS IS SOMETHING WE DO BECAUSE THESE MEN AND WOMEN DESERVE IT. BUT TO BE IN THE POSITION WE ARE TODAY AND TO BE ONE OF THREE FOUNDATIONS AFTER THEY’VE ILLUMINATED EARMARKS, TO BE ABLE TO SAY THAT 30,000 FAMILIES A YEAR WILL BENEFIT FROM THE PROGRAM THAT WE SAVED THEM IN EXCESS OF 350 MILLION IN TRAVEL EXPENSES AND LODGING EXPENSES. THE FACT THAT WE WERE ABLE TO GIVE BACK, I THINK THAT HONORS THE BROTHER’S LEGACY IN WAYS THAT THEY NEVER COULD HAVE IMAGINED. >>I THINK IT HONORS YOUR GREAT GRANDPA KARL, MARTIN AND EVERYONE ELSE BECAUSE THEY’VE BEEN GIVING BACK EVER SINCE THEY CAME TO AMERICA AND THE FISHERS ARE TRULY A DYNASTY OF NEW YORK. AND I’M HAPPY YOU WERE HERE TODAY. THANKS FOR BEING HERE.>>THANKS, MICHAEL. ♪ [THEME MUSIC] ♪

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