American actor Ashton Kutcher did not visit Israel last week just to find an Israeli startup company to invest in or to explore his roots through Kabbalah. Apparently, he is also looking for a luxurious piece of real estate.
Kutcher, who arrived in the Holy Land as the guest of a conference organized by high-tech entrepreneur Yossi Vardi, found the time to search for an office on Tel Aviv's Rothschild Boulevard. The Hollywood star is said to be considering opening a business incubator center in Israel.
Kutcher and his business partner Guy Oseary, one of the leading producers in the US music industry and Madonna's personal manager, visited a site on 22 Rothschild Boulevard, where the Aviv Group is building one of the most luxurious office buildings in Israel (Aviv Rothschild Center, which will be ready in about six months) at a total investment of NIS 250 million (about $70 million).
Aviv Group Chairman Doron Aviv said in the past, "Because new office buildings have not been built in Tel Aviv for a long time, we are now seeing a surge in demands for the project on the part of Israeli and international financial institutions."
The rent price per square meter in the new tower stands at NIS 130-150 ($35-41) on average.
Kutcher with high-tech entreprenuer Yossi Vardi (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
Kutcher and Oseary spent Shavuot Eve at a restaurant in Tel Aviv before heading to the Western Wall in Jerusalem for midnight prayers and psalms in honor of the Jewish holiday. Before leaving for the United States on Wednesday evening, they met with several high-tech people.
Kutcher told his guests about his partnership with Oseary in startup investments: "Guy and I began investing together because we wanted to change the world. We wanted to be part of the social network revolution, which brings people who don't know each other together to create a conversation or a community. We want to be part of that."
Kutcher and Oseary are joint investors in the A-Grade venture capital fund, which they founded together with Ron Burkle in 2011. Their investments include Airbnb, Spotify, Path, Soundcloud, Groupon and Shazam.
Kutcher is considered one of the early adopters of the Twitter social networking website, beating CNN to become the first user to reach one million followers in 2009.
The actor also invested in the Katango startup of Yoav Shoham, an Israeli professor of computer science at Stanford University, and made a profit when it was sold to Google for tens of millions of dollars about two years ago.