As President of Ambrose MarElia, a division of Douglas Elliman, Joan Ambrose is responsible with Nan MarElia for the management of over 80 real estate agents and two offices, one on the Eastside of Manhattan and one Downtown. A seasoned professional with over 25 years of experience, she founded Ambrose MarElia in 1978 and sold it to Douglas Elliman in August of 1996. Ambrose has been awarded the Henry Forster Award for achievement and ethics, is a member of the Interfirm, Board of Directors, Deal of the Year, and Ethics Committees of the Residential Division of REBNY and currently serves as Vice President on the Executive Committee of the Real Estate Board of New York Governors. Ambrose graduated from the Brearly School and received a Bachelor of Science from Columbia University.
Charles B. Benenson
Charles (Charlie) B. Benenson was an inspired leader of the commercial real estate industry, as well as his own Benenson Capital Company, for nearly 70 years. Following in the tradition of his father, Benjamin, who founded the company in 1905, Charlie Benenson grew the company with tremendous business acumen, the highest principles, and a fine eye for an outstanding real estate opportunity.
Today, just one year since Charlie's death at the age of 91, the Benenson group of companies is a leader among privately held operating companies in real estate investment, development and asset management owning more than 175 properties, including retail, office, industrial, multifamily, hospitality and land throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. Just as his company flourished under his care, so did the City of New York and the many philanthropies about which he was passionate.
Charlie began his real estate career in the 1930s by joining the family firm, then known as Benenson Realty, which built tenements in the Bronx. He possessed an intense combination of tenacity and skills and he quickly gained recognition in the market as one of the most prolific dealmakers in the city. As a developer, Charlie left his mark in Manhattan with developments such as Chelsea Gardens on West 23rd Street, 1180 Avenue of the Americas, the Connaught on East 54th Street and the recently completed Metropolis on East 44th Street. His investments in the City include 400 Park Avenue, the Beekman Hotel on 63rd Street and Park and the Actors Equity building at 1560 Broadway. Some past holdings include Sotheby's headquarters, the "Look" Building, 900 Park Avenue and the MTA headquarters.
In the 1970s, responding to the City's fiscal crisis, Charlie and fellow "titan" Lew Rudin founded the Association for a Better New York. Charlie also made a number of important contributions to real estate deal-structuring. In 1977, when the federal government prevented the Benenson company from redeveloping the historic Willard Hotel in Washington, Charlie sued. He won and forced the government to buy it from him instead, setting a precedent known as "inverse condemnation." Charlie is also credited with perfecting the "triple net lease." In the 1980s, he co-founded the Coalition Against Double Taxation to fight a proposal in Congress to eliminate the deductibility of state and local income taxes. This coalition later became the influential lobbying group, The Real Estate Roundtable.
Charlie Benenson was passionate about the real estate business--and equally passionate about philantropy, art and the education and empowerment of New York City's disadvantaged children. He combined these interests by co-founding the Realty Foundation of New York, which just this month named its scholarship program for him. As the Chairman of Yale University's Real Estate Committee, he acquired for that institution 717 Fifth Avenue, an investment Yale's President Rick Levin called "Yale's single best investment ever."
His many partners included his great friends Jack Weiler, Harry Helmsley, Leonard Marx, Larry and Bob Tisch and Fred Rose. Countless real estate people sought his counsel and he was a frequent arbiter of ethics in the industry. "All advice is bad; good advice is the worst of all," he remarked frequently. Many took his advice--many more regretted ignoring it.
Charlie Benenson set the benchmark for integrity, generosity, investment talent and partnering in the real estate industry in New York and nationally. He was certainly a "titan" on many levels, and he is sorely missed.
George M. Brooker
George M. Brooker, a real-estate executive who served on New York City and state boards and led civic causes, was president of Webb & Brooker a brokerage and management firm for residential and commercial property. He was vice president of the New York Building Congress and Real Estate Board of New York and a director of the New York University Institute of Real Estate Management, Rent Stabilization Association, Realty Advisory Board and Realty Foundation of New York.
During the city's fiscal crisis of the mid-1970's, Gov. Hugh L. Carey appointed him to the Municipal Assistance Corporation, where he served until his death. Gov. Mario M. Cuomo placed him on the Commission on Real Estate.
Mayor John V. Lindsay named him to the Rehabilitation Mortgage Insurance Corporation, and Mayor Edward I. Koch appointed him to the Central Park Conservancy and Small Retail Business Study Commission. He was also a friend of Mayor David N. Dinkins.
Brooker was chairman of the New York Urban League, joined a 1984 coalition of black and Jewish leaders and served on the boards of WNET-TV and the Regional Plan Association.
His pet project was the improvement of Harlem, where he had his headquarters and was a founder and president of the Harlem Business Alliance.
Born in Allendale, S.C., he grew up in Philadelphia. He served as a corporal in the United States Army during its occupation of Germany.
He studied music at Howard University and started as a singer in New York. To better support his family, he went to a state employment office and got a job at the State Rent Control Commission. He volunteered as the commissioner's
chauffeur and eventually became a hearing examiner. After studying real estate, he went into business in 1959. By 1967 he rose to vice president of Mark Rafalsky & Company as one of the industry's first black executives.
Jerry L. Cohen
Jerry L. Cohen has been associated for seven years with Tishman Speyer Properties, L.P., one of the largest and oldest real estate development organizations in the United States. Prior to this, he was Vice Chair and Board Member of Cushman & Wakefield, Inc. from 1992 to 1998.
Cohen has been recognized with many of the real estate industry's most distinguished awards, including the Real Estate Board of New York's "Most Ingenious Deal of the Year" which he received twice. A Governor of the Real Estate Board of New York and President of the Realty Foundation, Mr. Cohen's other prestigious honors include the Realty Foundation's "Man of the Year" award and New York University's "Madden Award for Distinguished Alumni."
Cohen has served as Chair of the Real Estate Division of both UJA-Federation and Israel Bonds. He is a Partner of the Yankee Global Enterprises and was previously President of the New Jersey Nets. Formerly Chair Emeritus of the Circle Repertory Theatre and currently a member of the Board of the Manhattan Theatre Club, he is also a Board member of ORT.
A member of the Board of Overseers of the New York University's Stern School of Business and the Board of Trustees of Long Island University, he earned a B.S. Degree and an M.B.A. from New York University.
Barbara Corcoran's amazing rise to the top has become the stuff of legend and inspiration. Her credentials include straight D's in high school and college and over twenty jobs by the time she turned twenty-three. It was her next job that would make her one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country--when she borrowed $1000 from her boyfriend and quit her job as a waitress to start a tiny real estate company in New York City. Over the next twenty-five years, she'd parlay that $1000 loan into The Corcoran Group, New York City's leading real estate company with over $5 billion in revenue. Barbara now leads over 800 agents in 11 New York City offices and an additional 200 agents in Palm Beach, The Hamptons, North Fork, and Shelter Island. How'd she do it? She listened to her mother.
Barbara's National Bestseller, "Use What You've Got and Other Business Les sons I Learned From My Mom," reveals that her secret to success has been to steadfastly apply her mom's kitchen table wisdom. The paperback edition is titled, "If You Don't Have Big Breasts, Put Ribbons in Your Pigtails." All of Barbara's profits from the book fund the specialized education of dyslexic children.
Motivational, inspirational, and sometimes outrageous, Barbara Corcoran's tell-it-like-it-is attitude is a fresh approach to success. According to CNN, Barbara is "the most sought after broker" in the city and is considered one of the most powerful brokers in the country.
James "Jack" Felt was a prominent real estate pioneer, founding father of the Counselors of Real Estate, former chairman of the New York City Planning Commission and a trustee of many well known corporate and eleemosynary boards. Jack Felt was known for his strong sense of integrity and client accountability in applying his creative counseling techniques to resolve complex real estate problems. His James Felt Realty Services became one of the country's premier appraisal and consulting firms and was acquired by Grubb & Ellis in 1992.
Bertram F. French is clearly recognized as one of the most successful brokerage professionals of the last 50 years. His prominence stems in no small part from his completion of multiple one million square foot deals Downtown. He was awarded the 2001 Louis Smadbeck Memorial Broker Recognition Award by the Real Estate Board of New York. He served as REBNY chairperson from 1980 through 1982 and sits on the Board's Executive Committee. He handled the New York Telephone Company (now Verizon) lease for the entire 1.3 million-square-foot building at 1095 Avenue of the Americas, the assemblage of land and development of a 1-million-square-foot office building for the Continental Insurance Corporation's headquarters at 180 Maiden Lane, the land acquisition and leasing of the 1-million-square-foot One Seaport Plaza, and the lease of 1-million-square-feet at 2 World Trade Center for Dean Witter's corporate headquarters. He has been associated with Cushman & Wakefield since 1947.
Edward S. Gordon
Edward S. Gordon was founder and served in the Office of the Chairman of one of the nation's foremost commercial real estate firms and the dominant brokerage firm in the New York market.
In 1996, Mr. Gordon's firm (then operating as Edward S. Gordon Company) was acquired by Insignia Financial Group. Mr. Gordon continued to guide the firm then called Insignia/ESG, to greater and greater accomplishment. Through his energetic devotion and vision, the firm he founded grew from a small boutique into what was at the time the third-largest firm of its kind in the US.
Gordon, regarded as one of the industry's premier real estate professionals, completed leasing, investment and management transactions valued in billions of dollars over the course of his career. On four occasions in Mr. Gordon's lifetime, The Real Estate Board of New York named his firm the recipient of the New York real estate industry's most coveted honor: its famous Henry Hart Rice Achievement Award "Most Ingenious Deal of the Year." Institutional Investor credited Mr. Gordon and his firm with its "Deal of the Year" honor in 1994 for the sale of 590 Madison Avenue on behalf of IBM.
Barry M. Gosin
Barry M. Gosin has been a principal of Newmark since 1978 and he has served as CEO since 1979, directing day to-day operations and ensuring the continued growth of Newmark's commercial leasing activities. Over the course of his career, he has personally facilitated several billion dollars worth of office leases. In the past 15 years alone, he has been responsible for leasing more than 30 million square feet of commercial space in some of the largest and most innovative transactions in New York City history.
Gosin is also one of New York City's most notable property owners. Over the past two decades, Mr. Gosin and his partners have acquired more than eight million square feet of commercial real estate, including the world-famous Flatiron Building, 1560 Broadway, 17 Battery Place, 27 Union Square West, 305 Seventh Avenue, 322 Eighth Avenue, 40 Worth Street, 515 Madison Avenue, 594 Broadway and 230 West 41st Street.
In addition to his work as a real estate advisor and property owner, Mr. Gosin has helped spearhead Newmark's expansion from a local real estate services firm into one of the largest, independent full-service real estate companies based in the United States. Newmark now has offices in nearly every major United States market, as well as overseas, and offers services ranging from project management to investment sales.
Gosin has been responsible for negotiating headquarters leases for Bloomberg L.P.; the Equitable Life Assurance Society; Purdue Pharma L.P.; Lowe Lintas & Partners; Liz Claiborne, Inc. and others. His clients also include The Bank of New York; Citigroup Inc.; J.P. Morgan Chase; Northshore-Long Island Jewish Health System and The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc., as well as Siemens and KeySpan Energy.
Gosin is considered one of the leading real estate advisors globally for law firms. In addition to developing Newmark's Law Firm Advisory Group, he has personally represented such prominent firms as Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison; White & Case LLP; Chadbourne & Parke; Cahill Gordon Reindel; Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel and Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton, among many others.
Gosin served on Senator Schumer's "Group of 35", making recommendation for New York City's long-term development. He was a member of the host committee for the World Economic Forum, and is presently on Mayor Bloomberg's Taskforce for making New York City competitive.
He is a member and past chairman of The Young Men's/Women's Real Estate Association (YMWREA); a member of the Board of Directors of the Avenue of the Americas Association; a member of NACORE and The Young Presidents' Organization, Inc.; a Trustee and board member for the Parker Jewish Geriatric Institute; a Trustee for Musical Theatre Works; Honorary trustee of the High School of Economics and Finance; Member of the Board of the New York Junior Tennis League; Member of the Board of Governors of the Real Estate Board of New York; Served on the Host Committee of the World Economic Forum in New York City; Member of the Board of Directors for the Northern Westchester Hospital Center; Member of the Real Estate Executive Committee of UJA; Trustee of Pace University; Member of the Board of Federal Employment and Guidance Services (FEGS); and on the Board of the Center for Downtown New York (CDNY)
Gosin has been honored by the Public Education Association as a distinguished graduate of New York City public schools; Recognized and honored by the New York Junior Tennis League; Honored by the Association for the Help of Retarded Children; Honored by the UJA-Federation of New York; Has received the Real Estate Board of New York's "Most Ingenious Deal of the Year" award on two separate occasions; was honored by The High School of Economics and Finance for his efforts and contributions to its library; Received the Ernst & Young "Entrepreneur of the Year" award in 2002; Was honored by Northern Westchester Hospital as "2001 Man of the Year"; and was honored by the Parker Jewish Geriatric Facility for his work on its behalf.
Gosin graduated from Indiana University with a B.A. in Economics and History.
Stephen L. Green
Since founding SL Green Properties in 1980, Stephen Green has been involved in the acquisition of over 75 Manhattan office buildings containing in excess of 50 million square feet of space. He has served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the SL Green Realty Corp. since it went public in 1997 as the first Manhattan only office real estate investment trust (REIT), and was Chief Executive Officer until late 2003. Mr. Green is also Chairman of the Board of Directors of Gramercy Capital Corp, a newly formed commercial real estate specialty finance company that went public in July 2004, which is managed and advised by a subsidiary of SL Green.
Green launched his career in commercial real estate in 1980 when he began purchasing older underperforming loft buildings, many of which were grand turn-of-the-century structures underutilized or abandoned by manufacturing businesses. By injecting fresh capital into these properties, renovating and revitalizing them with state-of-the-art infrastructures, he was able to create new value in buildings with architectural integrity, and at the same time offer tenants a real alternative to higher priced Class A office towers.
With high-quality amenities and rents a third to half of those in new buildings, demand for space in SL Green properties skyrocketed. Its buildings filled with prestigious tenants and a "renaissance" era of reclaiming and restoring vintage commercial real estate to its proper place in the Manhattan office market arrived.
When the New York office market rebounded in the mid 1990's, Green saw another opportunity to expand his proven concept of creating value. He formed the first public REIT to focus solely in New York City, and aggressively expanded the portfolio.
Since its IPO in 1997, SL Green Realty Corp. has experienced remarkable growth. When the firm went public, SL Green owned 6 properties comprising 1.2 million square feet, and had a market capitalization of $258 million. Today, the company is Manhattan's largest owner of office buildings, with a market capitalization of more than $4 billion. Among its 29 properties, which comprise approximately 17.2 million square feet of space, are such prominent buildings as 1515 Broadway, the Graybar Building in Grand Central, 1221 Avenue of the Americas, 485 Lexington Avenue, 750 Third Avenue, and the famed BMW Building on the West Side.
Consistent with its history, SL Green seeks to assemble, upgrade and reposition a portfolio of premier properties located on the avenues and major cross streets of Midtown Manhattan. Ninety percent of SL Green's properties are located within a 10-minute walk of the key transportation hubs of Grand Central Station, Penn Station and Times Square. The firm also runs a structured finance business, which has traditionally focused on debt and preferred equity investments involving office properties in New York City. Gramercy Capital Corp. intends to expand this business nationally, and will originate and acquire loans and securities related to both commercial and multi-family properties.
Green received his BA from Hartwick College in 1959, and earned his JD from Boston College Law School in 1962. He later attended New York University Law School's Graduate Tax Program, and went on to practice trial law for five years. Recognizing that the practice of law was too restrictive and that he had the mindset of an entrepreneur, he decided, instead, to focus his energy on business. He went on to found two companies--North American HG, an international manufacturing company, and Western Ski Vacations, a ski charter business. Both companies grew into industry leaders and were later sold to large multi-national corporations.
Green is a Founder and Co-Chairman of the Property Tax Fairness Coalition, a member of the Board of Governors and Executive Committee of the Real Estate Board of New York and has served as Chairman of Real Estate Board of New York's Tax Committee. He is also on the Board of Directors of Street Squash, a Harlem based urban youth enrichment program providing academic tutoring and squash instruction. A former nationally ranked squash player and a bronze medalist at the 1985 Maccabiah Games, Green endows the country's premiere squash tournament, known as the "SL Green National Open Squash Championships."
Throughout a storied, 38-year career in commercial real estate, Dan has established himself as one of the pre-eminent professionals in the industry. A C.P.A. and former tax supervisor, Dan leverages his business sense and real estate expertise to counsel clients ranging from the United States Customs Service and the Russian Trade & Cultural Center to the National Basketball Association and FAO Schwartz. He represented the United States Customs Service after September 11, for example, in long-term leases at 1 Penn Plaza and 601 West 26th Street to replace the facilities lost at 6 World Trade Center. These transactions had a combined value exceeding $200 million. Dan twice has won the prestigious Real Estate Board of New York Most Ingenious Deal of the Year Award and has consistently won national and local awards and honors with Grubb & Ellis and the Real Estate Board of New York. He has completed retail and office transactions, in New York and across the country.
Gronich received his MBA from New York University and his bachelors from Columbia College. His professional recognitions and affiliations include: Real Estate Board of New York--The Broker Recognition Award (brokerage division's highest honor); Real Estate Board of New York--Board of Governors (1985 i V Present); Executive Committee (1988-2003); Vice President of Commercial Brokerage Division (1995-2003); Treasurer (1988-1994); member of Ethics, Sales & Stores Committees; Grubb & Ellis Company - Retail Council; No. 17 in overall production (1996); No. 15 in overall production (2003); Circle of Excellence multiple years. He is a member of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors.
Austin K. Haldenstein
Austin K. Haldenstein was the award-winning founder of Austin K. Haldenstein Real Estate, the West Side's largest residential firm. In 1987, Haldenstein merged his firm into Douglas Elliman-Haldenstein. From 1990 to 1992 he was director of West Side Sales for Ambrose-Mar Elia Co., Inc. He completed his career as senior vice president of Vandenberg Real Estate.
Haldenstein was the first recipient of the REBNY Henry Forster Award in 1990 for his significant contribution [TEXT UNREADABLE IN ORIGINAL SOURCE] the industry, community, charitable and cultural organizations. He was also honored as the first residential broker elected as governor of The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY). As president of the West Side Chamber of Commerce and board member of the Brownstone Revival Coalition Austin, in the 60s and early 70s, helped to sway West Side urban renewal projects and to convince banks to loan money for restoring grand old brownstones along the side streets. He also was one of the first major Manhattan brokers to champion the concept of cooperative apartments for all economic levels.
Throughout his life, he had faith in the Upper West Side and worked towards maintaining the neighborhood and preserving its historic and esthetic value. He was chairman of the West Side Committee of REBNY and also spearheaded important activities of the National Realty Club.
Haldenstein passed away in September 1999, having lived a full and inspiring life, rich with family and friends.
Clark P. Halstead
Clark Halstead was a co-founder of the residential division of The Real Estate Board of New York, Inc., which previously had governed only the commercial real estate industry. He served as co-chair of the Executive Committee of the Residential Division, Director of the Brokerage Division, and Director of the New York State Association of Realtors. Mr. Halstead has been one of the most visible and outspoken forces for innovation and change within the industry, and is an acknowledged expert on virtually all matters relating to single-family and multi-family home ownership. Prior to founding Halstead Property, Clark was a cofounder of Sotheby's International Realty, heading the firm's Manhattan division and serving as Director and Senior Vice President. Halstead's work as a media spokesperson for the real estate industry began after a three-year contract as a model and national spokesperson for the Hathaway Shirt Company, a position for which he was selected following a highly publicized national search. Accustomed to television and radio appearances, Halstead went on to become a regular commentator on luxury property, issues related to buying and selling real estate, and home ownership in general. He has appeared on "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous," "Good Day New York", and dozens of news broadcasts. For eleven years, he hosted the weekly radio show, Halstead's Real Estate Review on WQXR. Mr. Halstead serves as a Director of the New York Landmarks Conservancy, and served as a Governor on the Board of Governors of The Real Estate Board of New York, Inc. He earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell University and a Masters of Business Administration degree from Columbia University. He resides in Manhattan and Carmel, New York, and Sanibel Florida.
Referred to by many as the industry's greatest mentor, Harry Helmsley was born in 1909, attended Evander Childs High School in The Bronx and never attended college. That didn't stop him, however, from acquiring a fortune from real estate. The buildings themselves included hotels, offices, lofts and large residential developments, some in other parts of the country. He owned all or a portion of each property through partnerships which have a total estimated value of $5 billion at the time of his death.
Helmsley learned the real estate business from the time he was 16 and joined Dwight Veerhis & Perry as a $12 a week office boy, eventually becoming a broker. The firm specialized in garment center loft buildings and Helmsley began to invest his own commissions to become a partner in the properties.
In 1938, the same year he married Eve Ella Sherpick Green, a widow who he divorced in 1971, he bought the company and changed its name to Dwight Voorhis & Helmsley. He acquired competitor Spear & Company in 1955, which he renamed Helmsley-Spear.
In the 1960's he acquired the "white shoe" residential property management and brokerage, Brown Harris Stevens, which was finally sold in 1995 in a move to divest non-hotel assets.
With the late-Lawrence Wien, whose son-in-law, attorney Peter L. Malkin, still has a strong hand in operating the family partnerships, Helmsley syndicated and purchased several prominent buildings.
Helmsley was a long-time member of the Real Estate Board of New York, where he was a governor from 1968 to 1972 and again from 1982 to 1984. In 1995 he became an honorary lifetime governor.
REBNY presented him with its first Distinguished New Yorker award in 1992, an award that is now named after him. When that honor was originally bestowed on Helmsley, then REBNY chairman Bernard H. Mendik merely stated his name and there was a standing ovation--and then there was quiet. "That's an indication of the real love and respect that the industry had for Harry Helmsley," said REBNY President Steven Spinula, noting that the REBNY dinners are known for their tumultuous networking.
"Harry was everybody's mentor," said Mendik at the time, in a sentiment repeated by many others in the industry. "He taught us how to buy, when to lease, and above all, how to negotiate with honor and class. He was as tough as nails, but was such an honorable man."
Malkin said, "It was pleasure and privilege to have worked with him for almost 40 years. He was a wonderful mentor, client, partner and friend."
Through partnerships, Malkin and Helmsley owned and operated, among other properties, the lesse-hold on the Empire State Building, One Penn Plaza, the Toy Center at 200 Fifth and the Lincoln Building at 60 East 42nd Street.
Among Helmsley's frequent dining and investing partners were his best friend, Alvin Schwartz, and Irving Schneider, both senior executives with Helmsley-Spear. Schwartz told REW, "I loved the man."
Retail investor and broker Edward A. Friedman called his 29 years with Helmsley handling real estate, hotels and many of the stores that came up for rent in the buildings a "honeymoon." Helmsley would say to him, "Make believe it's your building and make the best deal you can."
Some years ago, when William G. Lillis was American Savings Bank's president and chief operating officer, he recalled his time employed by Helmsley from 1970 to 1976 to REW. "He's probably the most impressive man I ever met," Lillis said at that time. "He was terrific to work for and he was so bright in his field." Lillis also described Helmsley as the greatest negotiator he ever knew. "At times, I felt like you should pay admission just to sit in on a meeting with him. I learned a lot, but I wouldn't tell him that."
Lillis said Helmsley was not a "paper guy. Everything you did with him was verbal," he explained. "But he never came back later and changed his mind or said, 'Gee, you weren't supposed to do that.' When you had a conversation with him, you knew it would hold up. He never looked back. If there was a problem he just said, 'Let's see what we can do to solve the problem.' There was never anything said like, 'Why'd we do that?' or 'How did we do that?'--it just wasn't his style."
Peter Ricker worked with Helmsley for 20 years--until 1987--as the head of commercial leasing and management for the New York metropolitan area. "He made deals with his handshake and his word was his bond," said Ricker, who at 28 was put in charge of leasing the 2.4 million square-foot brand new One Penn Plaza.
"I remember he was only mad once--and it was because someone was questioning his integrity," recalled Ricker. "He was a gentleman. If there was a question about going to the left or right, it was always go to the right. If there was any kind of rotator and college educator, it was him. He was a good teacher."
Those close to Helmsley say he respected developer Silverstein, who also made him laugh. Silverstein remembers Helmsley "as a consummate deal maker, and deal initiator. He had a facility with conceptualizing a deal and manipulating the numbers in his mind that was absolutely staggering. He had a computer for a mind that functioned spectacularly."
Silverstein conducts a teaching workshop at the NYU Real Estate Institute each fall where he invites other developers to come in and talk about their deals. In the mid-Eighties, when he invited Helmsley, Silverstein was reminded he wasn't good at formal speaking, but would come in and answer questions.
"We titled it, 'Everything you ever wanted to know about real estate transactions but didn't have the opportunity to ask,'" recalled Silverstein.
On the night of the event, there was a packed room and for the next hour and three quarters Helmsley answered questions about every kind of deal.
"At the conclusion of the session," Silverstein continued, "an attractive young woman raised her hand and said, 'Considering all you've done and accomplished, is there anything else you want?' With a twinkle in his eye, he said. 'What are you doing after class?--But don't tell that to Lee.' He got one helluva rousing reaction from the class."
Lee, of course, is his wife Leona, an accomplished broker who set her sights on the already successful and married man in the 1970's and won his love. Legend has it that she first asked him to dance at the annual Realty Foundation Ball. Soon smitten, Helmsley was divorced from his wife and married Leona in 1972.
"He loved the idea that he had some one to talk to and she understood the business, and that was very important," said Friedman.
While Helmsley never had any children, "he referred to himself as a compulsive buyer, who had to have and had to own property, and he referred to the buildings as his children," said Silverstein.
Sarah Korein, one of New York's toughest, sharpest and yet largely unknown deal-makers, passed away on October 29th, 1998, leaving an estate that included major buildings acquired over more than 60 years of creative deal-making.
At her death, she owned the ground under One Penn Plaza, Lever House, the Swiss Center, 120 Broadway, 111 Broadway, 111 Wall Street, and Colt Industries, a/k/a the Bank of Montreal Building at 430 Park Avenue, and owned and operated 295 Madison Avenue, the Delmonico Hotel at 502 Park Avenue, and the residential buildings at 220 and 240 Central Park South.
Some of those properties and leases are expected to come into market play, although the family is very cognizant of the worth of the portfolio and the net leased tenancies that bring in millions of dollars, year after year.
Mrs. Korein was survived by her son Julius, a neurologist; a daughter Elysabeth Kleinhans, who was involved in the operations at the Delmonico; four grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Born in Dresden, Germany while her parents were on a trip, she was only 14 when she met her future husband, Isidor. He was a 26-year-old Hungarian engineer who was building a power plant in her native Palestine, but by then the future Mrs. Korein had already learned the art of the business deal.
Benjamin V. Lambert
Benjamin V. Lambert is Chairman & CEO of Eastdil Realty Co., LLC. He founded Eastdil in 1967 as the first real estate investment banking firm and has over 35 years of experience in financing, sale, acquisition and management of all forms of real estate. His experience includes all types of financing structures, real estate and markets both in the U.S., Europe and Far East.
He is a Member of the Board of Directors of the Hilton Hotels Corporation and Executive Committee Member and past chairman of their Audit and Personnel and Compensation Committees; a Member of the Board of Directors of the Irvine Company and past chairman of their Audit & Finance Committee; Director of Ripplewood Holdings, L.L.C.; chairman of Audit Committee; a Founding trustee of the Wells Fargo Mortgage and Equity REIT (which was liquidated in 1989) and a Trustee from 1970-89.
Lambert is a Past Member of Real Estate Advisory Board of Citicorp; Past Chairman of the Board of the National Realty Committee; a Member of the Urban Land Institute, the International Council of Shopping Centers and the Real Estate Board of New York. He also serves as Trustee Emeritus of Brown University and Chairman of the Brown Real Estate Investment Committee (Endowment Fund. He is Chairman of the Board of the Harlem Day Charter School; a member of the Board of Trustees of the Waterford Institute and The Waterford School; Trustee Emeritus of Spence School; and Donor and Trustee of the Lambert Trophy.
Lambert also is a Member of the Advisory Board of New York University's Real Estate Institute; a Board member of the Manhattan Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the Robert Steel Foundation for Pediatric Cancer Research Board and Sheltering Arms. He is a licensed real estate broker in the State of New York and a graduate of Brown University.
Samuel H. Lindenbaum
Samuel H. Lindenbaum is of Counsel to Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP. For more than forty years, Sandy has had extensive experience in land use and has handled special permits, zoning changes, variances, landmark proceedings, air rights transfers, tax abatements and economic development incentives for most of the city's most prominent developers and many of the city's leading non-profit institutions. The New York Times has called him the "Dean of the land-use bar."
Lindenbaum has represented organizations such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Columbia University, MoMA, the Guggenheim Museum, the Archdiocese of New York, Yeshiva University, New York Hospital, New York University, Weill Cornell Medical College, Bear Stearns, Tishman Speyer Properties, Vornado Realty Trust, Glenwood and Rudin Management Companies, Sterling Equities, Millennium Partners, the Macklowe, Resnick, Silverstein, Solow and Trump Organizations, Harry Helmsley, Bernard Mendik, Edward S. Gordon and William Zeckendorf. He is personally responsible for the approval of more New York City building projects in the last 50 years than any other individual.
Current projects for which Mr. Lindenbaum acts as counsel include the expansions of the Museum of Modern Art, the Pierpont Morgan Library, the Whitney Museum, the new Mets Stadium, a new tower atop the Hearst headquarters building on Eighth Avenue, redevelopment of the former Alexander's site on Lexington Avenue and East 59th Street by Vornado, redevelopment of the Con Edison properties at First Avenue and East 40th Street, and Sheldon Solow's new residential towers on York Avenue and 60th Street. Recent approvals include renovations of Rockefeller Center and the Chrysler Building, and the new Penn Center Special Signage District. Other major approvals in recent years include Trump's Riverside South development and New York Hospital's expansion over the FDR Drive.
Sandy is Vice President and a Member of the Executive Committee of the Real Estate Board of New York and frequently presents the Board's position on land use issues to New York City officials. He is an Honorary Trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the American Friends of the Israel Museum, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice. He is a member of the Board of Overseers of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Chair of the Executive Committee of the Jewish Association for Services for the Aged, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Real Estate Institute of Baruch College, and a member of the Board of the Real Estate Committee of UJA-Federation. He is a founder, Director and Vice President of the Association for a Better New York, and a former member of the New York State Council on the Arts (1976-1986 and 1994-1999).
Lindenbaum graduated from Harvard College (B.A. cum laude, 1956) and Harvard Law School (J.D. cum laude, 1959). After graduating from law school, he was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship.
Leonard Litwin has been involved in apartment house construction and management for over forty-five years. It was during the 1960's that Leonard Litwin and his father entered the New York City real estate market with various projects including the Pavilion, which was the largest luxury apartment building in New York City. Since that time, Leonard Litwin has remained one of the most active owner-builders of luxury high-rise Manhattan buildings. Glenwood Management Corp. retains the reputation as one of the best management companies of residential apartment houses.
Litwin is well respected by his peers and is actively involved in various real estate trade organizations. He is presently the Vice Chairman of the Rent Stabilization Association of New York, a Governor of the Real Estate Board of New York, and Co-Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Associated Builders and Owners of Greater New York.
Leonard Litwin has been actively involved in numerous charities. He has funded extensive research to find a cure for Crohn's Disease in four separate hospitals, and has established the New York Crohn's Foundation to further this cause.
Litwin is still actively building in New York. His recent projects include The Lucerne, a forty-five story luxury rental building at 350 East 79th Street, The Brittany, a thirty-six story luxury rental building overlooking the East River at 1775 York Avenue and Paramount Tower, a deluxe fifty-two story rental building at 240 East 39th Street.
Current projects under construction include Liberty Plaza, a forty-five story building at the corner of Liberty Street and William Street, and The Grand Tier, a thirty story deluxe rental apartment house on Broadway between West 64th Street and West 65th Street, directly across from Lincoln Center.
Sydney Aaron Luria
A native New Yorker, Sydney Luria, 97, has been counsel to the Real estate Board of New York (REBNY) for over 20 years and a member of REBNY for 42 years. Sydney has been a wise counsel and advisor to the industry's leading trade association, protecting the industry's interests in a number of important amicus cases.
Luria graduated from the College of the City of New York (1929) and the Harvard Law School (1934). He was admitted to the bar in 1934, to the U.S. District Courts, Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, and the U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit, in 1940, and to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1942. He is a member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, New York County Lawyers Association, the American Law Institute and New York State and American Bar Associations. He is the senior member and sole surviving original partner of the law firm of Carb, Luria, Glassner, Cook & Kufeld, and of counsel to Cushman and Wakefield, Inc., and to L. Luria & Sons, Inc. Considered an outstanding real estate lawyer, he has served on the Board of Governors and as a vice-president of and counsel to the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY). He has substantial experience in both trust and estate law and real estate law and has represented major developers, brokers and banks in real estate matters during the course of his distinguished career. His love of people and the law remains to this day, as he still practices, concentrating primarily on matrimonial law in addition to his real estate work.
Inducted into the United States Air Corps as a private in 1942, he was later commissioned as a combat intelligence officer in the Air Corps in support General George Patton. He was relieved from final duty in 1946 with the rank of captain.
He married Lucille Rubinstein in 1943 and they have two children: Paula (Mrs. William F. Caplan) and Philip.
Luria served as a board member of the Jerusalem Foundation and as a member of the Human Rights Commission of the City of New Rochelle. He was a trustee of the Congressman Sol Bloom Foundation. Past president of the Guidance Center, he is a member of its board. He has served as a trustee of the Bettina and Leone J. Peters Foundation, Max and Rosa Gold Foundation and the Philharmonic Symphony Society of Westchester, N.Y. Other memberships have included the Harvard Players and, formerly, Friars Clubs. He also been labor counsel to Hadassah.
When Sydney was a child, his father, introduced him to Chaim Weizmann, the first President of Israel. As a lad, he joined Young Judaea. His late sister, Rose Halpern, was a national president of Hadassah and is internationally acclaimed for her contributions to the State of Israel.
When Sydney finished college in 1929, he spent nearly-a-year in Palestine, taking courses the Hebrew University. He and a friend spent three weeks walking the length and breadth of the land, literally from Dan to Beersheba.
Luria has been actively involved with a number of organizations promoting peace among Arabs, Bedouins and Jews. Luria is currently Chairman of the Board of Trustees of PEF Israel Endowment Funds (PEF). His association with PEF started in 1959 when he became a trustee. In 1977 he was elected a vice-president and served in that position until 1985, when he was elevated to the position of President. He served in that capacity until 1990. The Givat Haviva Educational Foundation, Inc. has named a center for the promotion of peace between Arabs and Jews in honor of both Mr. Luria and his wife as a result of their efforts on behalf of peace.
William C. McCahill, Jr.
William (Bill) McCahill, Jr. has been in the real estate business for more than 30 years and has experienced first-hand the deaths and rebirths of development in New York. In 1993, McCahill had a pivotal conversation with Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, of Sterling Equities, which cemented his future. Although the recession was having severe effects on New York, they discussed an imminent real estate renaissance, the need for a good bank to finance the industry, and most importantly the need for a relationship banker who had vision and could finesse the rough patches, and celebrate in good times.
Twelve years later, Bill McCahill, Executive Vice President and Senior Lending Officer for Bank of America Commercial Real Estate Banking, is responsible for Bank of America's real estate marketing strategy in New York City and Long Island. He manages a national portfolio of $12 billion in commitments has relationships with a majority of the top developers in New York.
McCahill has been involved in the campaigns of Lincoln Center's Real Estate and Construction Council and Israel Bonds' Real Estate and Construction Division for two decades. He is also a Director of the New York City Housing Partnership and a Council member of the Urban Land Institute, and a former Governor of the Real Estate Board of New York.
Active in the community, McCahill serves as Treasurer of the Children's Hearing Institute, Vice President of Neighborhood Housing Services and a Council member of Lincoln Center's Real Estate Division.
McCahill has been honored for his humanitarian and philanthropic endeavors by the National Jewish Hospital, Albert Einstein College, Jewish National Fund, Lincoln Center and the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey.
In June 2005, McCahill retired from Bank of America to pursue personal interests.
Bernard Mendik served 10 years as chairman of the Real Estate Board of New York. He actively pursued legislation to allow real estate investment trusts to become legal in New York and eventually rolled out his own REIT, folding Mendik & Co. into Vornado Realty Trust. He remained a large stockholder. In 1998, the entrepreneur left Vornado and a year later, founded BHM Co. as his new investment vehicle, dropping cash on young turks like his friend Kevin Wang, to invest in properties. Mendik worked tirelessly to improve relations with City Hall and became a friend of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani who chose him as the 1996 recipient of the Fiorello H. LaGuardia Award. Mendik was the Mayor's appointee to the Business Advisory Council and Commission on Youth Empowerment Services. Mendik is a 1993 recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. He was a member of the Bar, and was an active Trustee of New York Law School. We will always remember the beaming smile on his face and his enthusiasm for life
Arthur J. Mirante II
Arthur J. Mirante II is the immediate past President and Chief Executive Officer of Cushman & Wakefield, a position he held for 20 years, until 2004. Mr. Mirante assumed the president and chief executive position in 1984 and guided the dramatic transformation of the 87-year old firm from a regional brokerage company into a global multi-service real estate firm. The firm has 100 offices outside the U.S. As a result of his efforts, Cushman & Wakefield today either dominates or is a market leader in all of its businesses. Mr. Mirante's vision for the firm has been far reaching, resulting in a number of significant professional accomplishments that have further lifted Cushman & Wakefield's track record of outstanding performance. Mr. Mirante continues to show his business acumen, recently becoming president of Global Business Development and already making a major impact on winning major assignments. Some of his most significant accomplishments in recent years include the firm's merger with Cushman Realty Corporation in 2001 and forming a strategic alliance with Kroll Inc., the world's leading independent risk consulting company last year. Under Mr. Mirante's leadership, the firm also has expanded its presence throughout Asia and South America, increased the number and range of clients serviced in Europe, diversified its financial services expertise to include the multi-family sector, and has enhanced support for and grown its national retail and industrial real estate market share. In 1998, he spearheaded the merger and integration of Cushman & Wakefield with its European-based operation, Healey & Baker.
Bruce E. Mosler
Bruce E. Mosler, one of the most accomplished real estate executives in the U.S., is President and Chief Executive Officer of Cushman & Wakefield. In his position, Mr. Mosler is executive in charge of the global real estate services firm. which has 11,000 employees, and 175 offices in 50 countries. Prior to being named CEO on January 1, 2005, Mr. Mosler served for four years as President of U.S. Operations. He swiftly executed the initiatives he outlined upon his elevation to that position. In particular, Mr. Mosler leveraged the firm's dominance in European retail real estate services, while creating a formidable U.S. retail platform. He also created the Cushman & Wakefield Alliance, which now numbers 16 firms, and Concordis Real Estate, the first and largest national minority and women-owned real estate services corporation and alliance. He spearheaded the merger with Cushman Realty Corporation into Cushman & Wakefield, and the acquisition of The Apartment Group and the firm's new hotel investment sales capability, which have increased the firm's national market share in multifamily brokerage and hotel investment sales. In 2003, the Real Estate Board of New York presented Mr. Mosler with its annual Kenneth R. Gerrety Humanitarian Award for his significant service to the community. In addition, he has been honored by: Big Brothers/Big Sisters Foundation for Fighting Blindness; Boy Scouts of America; Inside Broadway; Intrepid Air & Space Museum--Salute to Freedom; Modell Foundation; New York Cares; New York Police and Fire Widow's and Children's Benefit Fund, Parker Jewish Hospital, and the United Way-NFL Partnership. Mr. Mosler is on the Capital Campaign Committee of the American Cancer Society and he is a member of the Board of the following organizations: Achilles Track Club; Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research Foundation; Fuqua Business School--Duke University; Intrepid Board of Directors; Intrepid Museum; Modell Foundation, and the Real Estate Board of New York.
Robert S. Olnick
Robert S. Olnick (1914-1986) pioneered the development of residential housing in the Riverdale section of New York City. In the five decades that followed, The Olnick Organization built thousands of New York City apartments, millions of square feet of commercial space and several hotels.
The Olnick Organization, Inc., a privately held, third-generation New York-based real estate development company was founded by Robert S. Olnick in 1946. The firm is active in the development, management and financing of prime New York metropolitan area residential, office and hotel properties.
Among the Company's seminal developments is Lenox Terrace, a 1,700 unit residential community in Harlem, which was one of the first urban renewal projects to be built in New York under City Construction Coordinator, Robert Moses. The Olnick Organization, with its partners, was also the first developer of apartments in Battery Park City, and built the Excelsior, which remains New York's tallest cooperative.
Today, under the direction of the late Mr. Olnick's son-in-law, company president Richard (Rick) Lane and his son-in-law, executive vice president and COO Neil L. Rubler, Olnick has expanded its portfolio and services. Olnick is the owner of Manhattan office properties 270 Lafayette Street and 130 Fifth Avenue, and in New Jersey, the premier office properties Four Gateway Plaza in Newark and Headquarters Plaza in Morristown (this property is owned in partnership with Fisher Development).
Its residential rental properties, all of which were developed by the Olnick Organization and which are managed through its affiliate, Hampton Management, include Lenox Terrace, Harlem's premier luxury residential apartment complex that was built in 1958 and The Century in the upscale Riverdale section of The Bronx. The firm also built and manages Upper East Side luxury Manhattan residences Le Triomphe and 200 East 87th Street.
Jack Parker founded the Jack Parker Corporation in 1955 when he built a residential community in Queens, NY. The 300 homes were the first to offer central air-conditioning in the United States. Today, the Jack Parker Corporation is one of NYC's most prominent owners/developers, and the company's diversified real estate development portfolio consists of hotels totaling more than 1,500 rooms, more than six million square feet of office, retail and industrial space spanning the east coast and the residential division that has built more than 15,000 residences.
The company is now led by Jack Parker's grandson Adam Glick. Early projects of The Jack Parker Corporation were concentrated in the metropolitan area surrounding New York City. Those developments ran the gamut, including single-family communities on Long Island and Westchester; high-rise luxury rental apartments in Manhattan and Queens; and, at the other end of the spectrum, rental apartment developments for low-income tenants in New Jersey. Its latest success is the Biltmore Tower at 267 West 47th St, which was completed last year. This 51 story, 464-unit building had zoning which would have only allowed a 32-story building to be built. The 80-year old theater was saved and restored. The apartment building was completed within 18 months and within six months from completion all units at the Biltmore were rented.
The corporation is currently developing a residential project on an entire city block in Tribeca, and is definitely interested in developing other areas in the West Village.
Henry Pearce was a major figure in New York City real estate for over 50 years. Henry brought a persistent energy, commitment and optimism to all aspects of his life--family, business and philanthropy--and his name remains synonymous with integrity, dignity and humanity to all who knew him and worked with him.
Born in New York in 1908, the first child of poor Russian immigrants, Henry worked his way through Fordham University (1928) and Brooklyn Law School (1932). In 1928, Henry formed a general real estate brokerage business--and a lifelong friendship--with Jules Mayer, sealing the deal with a handshake. In 1947, the firm became Pearce, Mayer and Greer. Although the business and the name expanded over the years, Henry and Jules remained in business together until their deaths in 1997.
Professionally, Henry's enthusiasm, creativity and imagination were his hallmark and he was known for being able to make a deal when others had failed. In 1975, Donald Trump hired Henry to help him get financing to convert the Commodore Hotel to the Grand Hyatt. In his book, "The Art of the Deal," Trump writes that "Henry Pearce ... was a fantastic guy. He was in his late sixties but he had more energy than most twenty year olds." When faced with continuous rejections from bankers, Trump wanted to give up, but Henry refused and eventually arranged the deal. Henry also played a major role in many other notable transactions, including the financing of One Astor Plaza, 101 Park Avenue, the Bank of America Building, the Americana Hotel, the Roosevelt Hotel and many significant properties around the country. In addition to his professional role as a broker, Henry served as the mentor and unofficial advisor to many of New York's current leading real estate figures. He believed in giving young people a chance and both his office and his home were a gathering place where many came to seek his advice and counsel. As a result, many of today's leaders owe their start and development to Henry.
Lastly, his commitment to philanthropy was a major part of Henry's life. He believed strongly in service and giving one's time, and devoted much energy to building a school in Israel and to the Jewish Association for Services to the Aged (JASA). As a founding member and trustee of JASA, Henry helped develop programs and facilities for the elderly that enable them to live with comfort and dignity. He recruited others to assist in this endeavor, continually leading by example with his dedication, caring and enthusiasm.
Henry's life centered on Sally, his wife of over 60 years, his children and his grandchildren. They often remark on how many people tell them, "Henry was like a father to me--I really miss him." Henry Pearce was a life force, personally and professionally, and his legacy lives on in the New York real estate community, in the deals he struck, the people he mentored and the lives he touched.
Leone J. Peters
Leone J. Peters was the archetype of the modern commercial real estate broker. He joined Cushman & Wakefield in 1929 as a bookkeeper, and with the exception of World War II military service where he enlisted as a buck private and rose to the rank of captain, he spent his entire business career at the firm--remaining an active broker until his death. He rose to the position of president and chief executive officer of Cushman & Wakefield in 1960, became chairman and chief executive in 1970, and honorary chairman in 1976, closing many of the industry's most notable transactions along the way. He was credited with transforming Cushman & Wakefield from a family-owned building management concern into a leading national real estate services organization. As an agent or consultant, he represented almost every major investment builder, as well as many large institutional owners in the industrial, banking and insurance fields around the U.S. and abroad. He was also instrumental in the development of several of America's most prominent office towers, including Arco Towers in Los Angeles, the Bank of America Building in San Francisco, and 4 New York Plaza, among many others. An avid horseman, he bred and owned the winner of the 1982 Kentucky Derby, Gato Del Sol. He also bred Risen Star, winner of the 1988 Preakness Stakes. He was active in many civic organizations, serving as a patron of the Metropolitan Opera, a director of the Columbus Citizens Committee and a member of the board of the Real Estate Council for Lincoln Center. He supported many charitable organizations and institutions, including the Chemotherapy Foundation of New York, the American Cancer Society, the Boy Scouts of America, Skidmore College, Lehigh University and the University of Pennsylvania
Joel I. Picket
Joel I. Picket is Chairman and CEO of Gotham Organization, Inc. and its construction arm, Gotham Construction Company, LLC. Gotham is now in its fourth generation of family ownership with his son, David, presiding over Gotham's real estate development endeavors. Picket led the evolution of the company from strictly a general contracting business to a multi-dimensional, full-service real estate firm performing general contracting, construction management, and development management for its own ac count and for others. Picket is responsible for the diversity of Gotham's portfolio, which includes the construction and/or development of residential, commercial, medical, educational, and hotel properties in the New York area. Some recent projects include Fordham University's Walsh Library, Methodist Hospital Medical Pavilion, Hebrew Home for the Aged, and Harlem USA. Gotham has been consistently ranked as one of the largest contractors in the country and is responsible for the construction of more than 30,000 residential units.
Picket has been involved in all types of multifamily housing, from building the first Mitchell-Lama at Tower Gardens in the Bronx, to an array of buildings in New York City's 80/20 program including The Atlas, New Gotham, The Nicole, Key West, The Victory and Carnegie Hill Place. His work has encompassed high-end rental and condominium residential buildings as well as an array of affordable housing under various programs including turnkey projects for the NYC Housing Authority, NYS Housing Trust Fund, J-51 Program and the completion of 19 Senior Housing projects under the HUD 202 program. Picket's construction advice is sought after by both institutional clients and other developers.
Picket is recognized not only for his contributions to the City's construction industry, but also for his on-going commitment to the betterment of New York's healthcare industry. He currently serves as Chairman of the Building and Real Estate Committee for Continuum Health Partners and is a Member and Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of Beth Israel Medical Center and St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center. In addition, Mr. Picket is currently serving on the boards of Fordham University, Herbert F. Johnson Museum at Cornell University, The Foundation for the National Archives, The Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and the New York Philharmonic. He is a member of the Board of Governors and Executive Committee of the Real Estate Board of New York.
Bruce C. Ratner
Brace C. Ratner is President and Chief Executive Officer of Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC). Under Mr. Ratner, FCRC has become one of the foremost urban real estate developers in the New York metropolitan area. And he himself has emerged as a leader in the business and civic communities of New York City.
After graduating cum laude from Harvard College in 1967 and Columbia University School of Law in 1970, Mr. Ratner entered public service as the director of a Model Cities Program--and later as head of the Consumer Protection Division in the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs--during the administration of Mayor John Lindsay. He taught at New York University Law School from 1973 to 1977, then returned to government the next year as New York City's Commissioner of Consumer Affairs in the first term of Mayor Ed Koch. As Commissioner, Mr. Ratner was responsible for designing major initiatives in consumer fraud protection that became models for subsequent national legislation.
Upon leaving the public sector in 1982, Ratner devoted himself to building FCRC--the company that, over the past decade, has been the No. 1 developer of commercial and retail projects in New York City.
Ratner has been a critical participant in the renaissance of Downtown Brooklyn. His involvement in the rejuvenation of what has become New York City's third central business district began with One Pierrepont Plaza, which when it opened in 1988 constituted the first new office construction the area had seen in 25 years. Over the past decade, Ratner and FCRC have steadily developed MetroTech Center, a $1-billion, 5-million-square-foot high-technology office, academic and retail complex in the heart of Downtown Brooklyn. The latest addition to MetroTech is the new headquarters of the New York City Fire Department, a state-of-the-art, eight-story, 350,000-square-foot structure that opened in October 1997. Meanwhile, in May 1998, FCRC also completed the new headquarters for the New York Mercantile Exchange in Lower Manhattan near the World Financial Center.
Ratner's endeavors as an urban developer have been distinguished by his vision that New York City--whose resident have long been underserved by major national retail outlets--can create and sustain a thriving retail base, and indeed must do so for its long-term economic survival. A key element in that vision--Atlantic Center, a 400,000-square-foot shopping mail adjacent to the Atlantic Terminal transportation hub--was opened by FCRC to resounding success in November 1996.
Forest City Ratner Companies continues to create major retail projects, not only in Brooklyn but across all five boroughs of New York City. FCRC is part of the ongoing rebirth of Times Square with the 42nd Street Hotel, Entertainment and Retail Development, a 335,000-square-foot complex that features a 25-screen AMC cineplex and a Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, topped with a 25-story, 455-room Hilton Hotel with sky-lobby restaurant. Continuing to lead the way in commercial and retail development in New York City, Forest City Ratner Companies has developed a 617,000 square foot mixed-use complex in Battery Park City that includes a 14-story Embassy Suites Hotel, retail stores, and a 4,000-seat, 16-screen Regal Cinemas. Additional FCRC projects include The Bruckner Stores in the East Bronx; the Gun Hill Road Retail Development in the Pelham Gardens/Baychester section of the Bronx, Northern Boulevard Center in Woodside Queens; Columbia Park Center in North Bergen, New Jersey; The Heights on Court Street in Brooklyn; and The Stores at Richmond on Staten Island.
In 1992, Crain's New York Business selected Ratner as the top New York City executive in the fields of real estate, finance and insurance.
Ratner has also demonstrated a conviction that successful entrepreneurs should engage in philanthropic endeavors that promote social justice, a spirit of community and the quality of life. Thus he has devoted much time and energy to cultural institutions, education, and New York City's parks out of a deep belief in the crucial role they play in economic development and enhancing the urban environment.
Ratner's dedication to the arts has been much in evidence in his work on behalf of the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). As a Trustee of the world-renowned BAM since 1989 and Chairman of its Board since 1992, he has spearheaded the creation of the MetroTech Downtown Fund--which produced an ongoing source of revenue for BAM by reaching out, for the first time, to corporations that had moved into Brooklyn from Manhattan. Mr. Ratner continues to seek funding to underwrite the cutting-edge productions of BAM, and his contribution to the arts was acknowledged when he received the New York State Governor's Arts Award in 1994. In 1996, he was elected a Trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
As part of his commitment to education, Ratner has served as vice-chairman of the board of Long Island University, and on the boards of The Futures in Education Foundation (a foundation for the preservation of Catholic education), the Promise Scholarship Fund of Polytechnic University, and the Brooklyn Bureau of Community Service. FCRC also funds (along with Bear Stearns, and in association with New York City Technical College) an ongoing $2 million training program that assists Brooklyn community residents who are seeking to enter or advance within the corporate world. In 1996, Mr., Ratner received an honorary Doctorate of Laws from Pratt Institute.
Ratner serves as Chairman of the Board of the City Parks Foundation. In addition, he serves on the Board of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, the International Rescue Committee) and the Museum of Jewish Heritage/A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.
As a member of the Board of Directors of the New York City Partnership, Ratner was heavily involved in framing the debate over economic development issues in the New York region. A report he wrote, "Marketing New York City in the Global Economy," triggered the Partnership's recent initiative in promoting international investment. Ratner was also a panelist on urban issues at President Clinton's Economic Summit in December 1992.
Ratner, born on January 23, 1945, has two daughters. Rebecca graduated from Brown University in 1995 and Elizabeth from Harvard College in 1997.
Henry Hart Rice
Henry Hart Rice was chairman of James Felt Realty Service and an innovator in many real estate deals who won many industry awards. Among his most celebrated deals was his help in devising the complex finances that saved Carnegie Hall from demolition. In the 40's, Rice was the marketer of the Parkchester development in the Bronx, at the time the largest in the world with 12,000 units.
His work for Metropolitan Life, developer of Parkchester, continued with the residential and commercial development of Fresh Meadows in Queens, which included the first Bloomingdales outside Manhattan.
Rice won the Real Estate Board of New York's prestigious annual award as the most ingenious realtor four times and served on the board's Sales Brokers Committee and directed the Brokerage Division.
Born in Manhattan, he attended college and started work at 15 years old in the morgue of The New York Times. He started work in real estate in 1932 as leasing broker and manager of Hanford & Henderson, then becoming a vice president of Butler & Balswin in 1936.
Serving in government, Rice helped write the original rent control rules for New York City; he was an assistant to the rent administrator, technical advisor to the National Housing Administration, chief of conversion management in the Public Housing Administration and its chief appraiser in this region.
He also worked for Van Dam Mordecai and J. Clarence Davis Realty after the World War. Among charity activities were contributions to the Hospital of Joint Diseases, Yale University, New York Community Fund, Westchester Community College, Townsend Harris High School, and the UJA-Federation.
Stephen M. Ross
Stephen M. Ross is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Related Companies, L.P. Ross formed the company in 1972 to develop, finance, and manage government assisted rental apartments. Related currently ranks as the second largest owner of multi-family rental apartments in the country, with a portfolio of approximately 250,000 units in 44 states.
Related was selected to develop the New York City Coliseum site at Columbus Circle. The new $2 billion complex, Time Warner Center, opened to much fanfare in 2004. For the first time in a New York City development project, a mixed-use complex combines office, hotel, retail, residential and cultural uses at one location.
In addition to the development of both moderate income and luxury apartments, The Related Companies is one of the nation's preeminent developers of mixed-use properties. Through its retail and mixed-use development arm, Related Urban Development, several mixed-use properties, including The Shops at Columbus Circle, are currently under development. CityPlace in West Palm Beach, Florida opened in October, 2000. Subsequently, in 2002 CityPlace won the ULI Award for Excellence in the "Mixed-Use/Large-Scale" category.
In New York City, Ross is widely regarded as one of the most prominent developers of luxury apartments and retail/mixed-use properties. His most recent residential projects include The Chatham, The Park Imperial, The Sonoma, The Strathmore, Tribeca Parc, The Sagamore, One Union Square South, The Lyric, and the Westport.
The Related Companies, today, is a fully integrated real estate firm with divisions specializing in development, acquisitions, financial services, and property management. In the 33 years since launching Related, Ross has assembled a team of over 1,500 professionals who oversee a real estate portfolio valued in excess of $12 billion.
Ross began his career in Detroit, Michigan working for the accounting firm of Coopers & Lybrand as a tax attorney. He later moved to New York where he specialized in real estate and corporate finance at two investment banking firms immediately prior to founding Related.
Ross graduated from The University of Michigan with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and from Wayne State School of Law with a Juris Doctor degree. He then received a Master of Law degree in Taxation from the New York University School of Law. Based on a substantial gift in 2004, the University of Michigan renamed its Business School the "Stephen M. Ross School of Business at The University of Michigan."
Over the years, Ross has received numerous honors for his business, civic, and philanthropic activities. Most recently, REBNY presented him with 'The Harry B. Helmsley Distinguished New Yorker" award. In 2003, he received the "Jack D. Weiler Award" from UJA. Crain's New York named Mr. Ross one of the "100 Most Influential Leaders in Business" in 2002. Ross was recognized by NYC & Company with their 2002 "Leadership in Tourism" award. Mr. Ross was the 2001 honoree for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's Promise Ball. Earlier that year he received the "Henry Pearce" award presented by the Jewish Association for Services for the Aged. Ross was named "Owner & Developer of the Year" by New York Construction News in 2000.
Ross is a member of the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors of the Real Estate Board of New York. He is a member of the Board of Directors of NYC2012 and a member of its Executive Committee as well. Mr. Ross is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Guggenheim Museum and a trustee of the National Building Museum. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation as well as a trustee of the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
Irving Schneider is best known as the multi--millionaire business partner of Harry Helmsley and Alvin Schwartz in Helmsley-Spear Inc., one of the city's largest real estate management companies. But Schneider is also a philanthropic leader, both in the United States and Israel. The one-time chairman and chief operating officer of Helmsley, Spear, Inc, he is honorary chairman of the board of North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System and chairman emeritus of the Long Island Jewish Medical Center. The major sponsor of the Schneider Children's Hospital at Long Island Jewish and the Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel, he is a board member of Tel Aviv University and the Museum of Jewish Heritage, a life trustee of UJA-Federation of New York, an honorary trustee of the City College Fund and honorary chair of CLAL. For six years, he was a member of the board of governors of the Jewish Agency and a trustee of HIP for 10 years.
He served in the U.S. Air Corps in World War II as a First Lieutenant. The recipient of honorary doctorates from Brandeis University, Long Island University, Tel Aviv University and Bar Ilan University, he is the major benefactor of the Schneider Institute for Health Policy at Brandeis University. A resident of Manhattan, he was married for many years to the late Helen, and has three daughters and five grandchildren.
The longtime Harry Helmsley partner and one of the founding principals of Helmsley-Spear, Alvin Schwartz was responsible for many large land deals, and the merger of Spear and Company and Dwight-Helmsley to form Helmsley-Spear, Inc. Alvin Schwartz, long prominent in New York City's real estate industry as an associate of and successor to the real estate magnate Harry Helmsley, became one of two co-chairmen of the real estate concern Helmsley-Spear Inc. in 1997. At the time that Schwartz and a colleague, Irving Schneider, gained control of Helmsley-Spear, it was one of the city's largest real estate management companies. Their five decades of work for the company had already made them multimillionaires. During much of that time, they worked alongside Helmsley, who was considered the dean of New York real estate when he died. By then, Helmsley-Spear was nowhere nearly as dominant as it was in its heyday, during the 1960's and 70's. But it still managed 86 buildings, including the Empire State Building, 1400 Broadway, 1001 Avenue of the Americas and 1 Penn Plaza.
Schwartz had been with Helmsley-Spear for 55 years. Earlier, he was with Dwight, Voorhis & Helmsley, which became Dwight, Helmsley. When Mr. Helmsley acquired Spear & Company, it became Helmsley-Spear Inc. In Schwartz's long career, he became a key figure in partnerships that owned large amounts of property in Manhattan's garment district and elsewhere. His partnerships also owned numerous office buildings.
While Helmsley, Schwartz and Schneider were Helmsley-Spear's guiding lights, Helmsley focused largely on arranging the financing of deals, while Schwartz and Schneider managed properties and helped scout investments.
Helmsley is said to have valued Mr. Schwartz's skill at evaluating proper ties. Schwartz was low-keyed and a skilled negotiator and broker. He had a knack for establishing rapport with people he negotiated with, even those who started out being antagonistic.
In 1966, Schwartz and Schneider were made executive vice presidents of Helmsley-Spear. Helmsley also gave each of them a small ownership stake in the firm.
Failing health forced Mr. Helmsley to retreat from active participation in Helmsley-Spear in the late 1980's, but the void was filled by Helmsley's wife, Leona Helmsley. In May 1996, according to Relocate, a real estate data service, Helmsley-Spear was managing about 28 million square feet in 107 buildings in New York.
Schwartz and Schneider became co-owners as well as co-chairmen of Helmsley-Spear late in 1997, not long after Helmsley's death. Mrs. Helmsley agreed to sell Helmsley-Spear to the two men, ending a lawsuit they had brought against her, charging that she had tried to strip the company of assets, lowering its potential value to them if they exercised purchase rights after Helmsley's death. At the time of Helmsley's death, he was owner or part owner of some of Manhattan's best-known buildings, managing them through Helmsley-Spear and running a chain of hotels with his wife. Those holdings included the Lincoln Building, at 420 Lexington Avenue; the Fisk Building, at 250 West 57th Street; the Toy Center, at 200 Fifth Avenue; the Starrett-Lehigh Building, at 200 12th Avenue; and the New York Central Building at 230 Park Avenue.
His holdings also included interests in the Helmsley Park Lane, New York Helmsley, Helmsley Middletowne, Helmsley Windsor, St. Moritz and Helmsley Carlton House hotels. Schwartz, Schneider and Peter Malkin were partners with Helmsley in many of the buildings in Helmsley's $5 billion empire.
Schwartz was born on May 3, 1912, in New York City. He did not attend college.
Richard Seeler was twice the winner of the prestigious Real Estate Board of New York's "Most Ingenious Deal of the Year" award: in 1975, for the sale of Two Dag Hammarskjold Plaza to the Government of Jamaica; and in 1986, for his important role in the sale of Saks Fifth Avenue's office tower leasehold to the Swiss Bank Corporation. Among Seeler's most prominent transactions are the lease of 325,000 sq.ft. to Cosmair at 575 Fifth Avenue, a $300,000,000 transaction, and the lease of 156,000 sq.ft. of office space to Asarco in the Continental Building. Mr. Seeler was also involved in the lease and sale of 1330 Avenue of the Americas, now known as the ITT Building, totaling 447,400 sq.ft., to ABC. He also sold 665 Fifth Avenue, a 120,000 sq.ft. office building, to Rolex U.S.A.
During his career Seeler has been responsible for the leasing of more than 30,000,000 sq.ft, of office space and the sale of 60 office and industrial buildings. He was also the leasing consultant for the Transamerica Pyramid Building in San Francisco and other major consulting assignments including Associated Hospital Service of NY, General Motors Corporation, Equitable Life Assurance and the Children's Aid Society.
Seeler received a B.A. from St. Lawrence University. He is a member of SIOR (Society of Industrial and Office Realtors), he holds the CCIM (Commercial Investment Member, National Association of Realtors) and CRE (American Society of Real Estate Counselors) designations. He is a lifetime governor and former Chairman of the Real Estate Board of New York, which awarded him the Broker Recognition Award. He is moreover the former Chairman of the New York Board of Trade. Seeler also serves as Director of the Fifth Avenue Association and is the former President and Director of the Forest Hills Gardens Corporation. He is a former Director of the Emigrant Savings Bank and the Home Life Insurance Company and presently holds an Advisory Council seat on the Phoenix Home Mutual Life Insurance Company Board of Directors.
Stephen B. Siegel
In his role as Global Chairman of CBRE, Steve Siegel advises on the company's brokerage operation on a worldwide basis. He also spends a great deal of his time advising major corporations and property owners on a wide range of real estate issues.
Siegel is widely regarded in commercial real estate circles as one of the industry's most talented and prolific professionals. Among a host of other honors, he was named by Crain's last year as one of the 100 most influential business leaders in New York City. Prior to the merger with CBRE, as Chairman and CEO of Insignia, Siegel was largely responsible for masterminding the national and international growth of the firm, nationwide as well as throughout Europe, Japan, Hong Kong, China, Thailand and Latin America.
Throughout his distinguished career, Siegel has arranged transactions for some of the nation's most prominent corporate clients including, among others, JP Morgan Chase, Sidley Austin Brown & Wood LLP, Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., Swiss Reinsurance, MetLife and Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld.
Larry A. Silverstein
Larry A. Silverstein serves as President of Silverstein Properties, Inc., a Manhattan based real estate development and investment firm that owns, manages has developed more than twenty million square feet of office, residential, and retail space. The office space is located primarily in the financial district of downtown Manhattan and along Fifth Avenue in Midtown.
Silverstein is a member of the New York Bar. He is a Governor of The Real Estate Board of New York, having served as its Chairman. He is Vice Chairman of the New York University Board of Trustees and is the Founder and Chairman emeritus of the New York University Real Estate Institute. As a Professor of Real Estate, his "Silverstein Workshop" has become one of the most attended and informative educational sources for learning real estate development and investment analysis.
Silverstein donates his time and resources to support many philanthropic endeavors including the United Jewish Appeal/Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York, which he served as Chairman. Mr. Silverstein is Chairman of the Realty Foundation, Treasurer of the National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver, Trustee of the Mount Sinai-NYU Medical Center and Health System, Trustee of the South Street Seaport Museum, and Trustee of the Museum of Jewish Heritage.
Silverstein is 71 years of age, married and has three children, two of whom work at Silverstein Properties. He is a classical music enthusiast, a passionate yachtsman and dedicated New Yorker.
Silverstein's Manhattan real estate holdings include: 120 Broadway, the 1.8 million square foot, 40-story Equitable office building, a Federal Historic Landmark; 140 Broadway, a 1.2 million square foot, 52-story office building, containing the headquarters of Hong Kong Shanghai Bank; 120 Wall Street, a 615,000 square foot office building known as The Association Center; 530 Fifth Avenue, a 500,000 square foot office building known as the Bank of New York Building; 529 Fifth Avenue, a modern, 19-story office building containing 270,000 square feet; and 111 West 42nd Street, an 850,000 square foot, 32-story building containing the only co-generation system in a Manhattan office tower.
Silverstein also owns the 160,000 square foot block on 42nd Street between 11th and 12th Avenues which is fully zoned for a mixed-use development containing approximately 2 million buildable square feet. The first 40-story tower, River Place I, is under construction and will contain 921 rental apartments, 40,000 square feet of retail, and 200 cars of parking.
Construction and development projects undertaken by Silverstein Development Corp. include 10 million square feet of office and retail space as well as 1,500 hotel and residential units. These development projects include: The Ronald Reagan Building, a recently completed 3.1 million square foot office building located in Washington, D.C. Ridgeway Shopping Center, a recently renovated 360,000 square foot community shopping plaza located on 13.6 acres in Stamford, Connecticut; Teleport I and II, a 270,000 square foot office park development in Staten Island, New York, serving communication-oriented companies in two office buildings; Manhattan Mall, a 1.1 million square foot mixed-use building containing retail and showroom space in Manhattan; Embassy Suites Times Square, a 42-story, 460 suite hotel at Broadway and 47th Street in Manhattan; The Summit, a 567-unit, luxury condominium in Hollywood, Florida, consisting of two 25-story towers; The Terraces at Turnberry, a 28-story, 295-unit, luxury condominium complex in North Miami Beach, Florida; and Park Avenue Court, a 223-unit condominium at Lexington Avenue and 86th Street in Manhattan.
Louis Smadbeck's career in real estate was distinguished by both personal and professional integrity, leadership and prominence in the brokerage community. A three-term REBNY governor, Mr. Smadbeck was recipient of the Board's "Most Ingenious Deal of the Year" award in 1981. REBNY established the Broker Recognition Award in 1991, to honor a brokerage professional whose career distinctions include personal and professional integrity, long-term leadership and prominence in the brokerage community, as well as participation on REBNY committees. The award was later re-named in the memory of Smadbeck, one of the profession's most respected and accomplished practitioners, who died shortly before he was to receive the award in 1992.
Over the years, Smadbeck negotiated the sale of some of Manhattan's most important apartment buildings, including the Dakota on Central Park West at 72d Street; the Beresford at Central Park West and 81st Street; 730 Fifth Avenue at 57th Street, and 755 Park Avenue at 72d Street. At his death, he was cochairman, with Alan Tishman, of the real-estate firm of Wm. A. White/Grubb & Ellis Inc.
Smadbeck was born in Manhattan into a real-estate family. His grandfather and namesake was a developer in Westchester County as was his father, Arthur, a former president of the New York Coliseum. His mother, Ruth, was president of the Heckscher Foundation for Children, which he himself served as a fund-raiser and chairman.
He graduated from Brown University in 1942 and joined the Army's Signal Intelligence Service, a forerunner q of the National Security Agency. He was sent to England and attached to a unit under British command that intercepted and deciphered coded German communications.
Smadbeck, who was discharged with the rank of captain, began his business career with the firm of Charles F. Noyes. He was named a vice president in 1950 but left during the Korean War to serve as an intelligence officer in Japan and South Korea.
In 1960 he moved to Wm. A. White & Sons as executive vice president. He was named president four years later, leading the firm into a position of prominence in the New York market. It acquired Tishman East Management in 1984, becoming Wm. A. White/Tishman East Inc. with him as co-chairman. Two years later the merged firm was sold to the San Francisco-based Grubb & Ellis, a national real-estate company.
Smadbeck, who put a premium on talent and experience, ignored age limits and recruited top performers idled by mandatory retirement clauses at other firms. The Real Estate Board of New York awarded him its "Most Ingenious Deal of the Year" award in 1981 for the sale and lease-back of the Actors Equity Building, at Broadway and 46th Street. The deal was intended to raise cash for the union and let it stay in place for 75 years longer at a favorable rent.
Smadbeck was the host of a Saturday morning program on the classical music station WNCN, "The Real Estate Report." He was a trustee of Carnegie Hall and the Juilliard School and was a past director of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies and a trustee and former elder of the Brick Presbyterian Church on Park Avenue. For several years, he was co-chairman of the United States National Tennis Championships at Forest Hills.
Sheldon H. Solow, builder and owner of residential and commercial properties in New York since 1950, has helped to set new standards of excellence in design and the application of innovative technology for investment builders. He has long recognized the synergistic relationship of art to architecture that is reflected in all of his buildings. In 1991, he founded the Solow Art and Architecture Foundation to support art and architectural studies. Solow Lecturers speak on Classical and Renaissance topics.
Solow is presently very active in many leading educational and art institutions. He has been the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Institute of Fine Arts, NY since 1992. He is also a Member of the Board of Trustees at New York University, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and a member of the Chairman's Council at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Jerry I. Speyer/ Robert Tishman
Jerry Speyer is one of the two founding partners of Tishman Speyer Properties (TSP), along with Robert Tishman, and has been President & CEO since TSP's formation in 1978. Prior to 1978, Mr. Speyer was a Senior Vice President and Director of Tishman Realty & Construction Co., Inc.
He is Deputy Chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; a Vice Chairman of the Museum of Modern Art and New York Presbyterian Hospital; Vice Chairman, Executive Committee, the Rand Corporation; former chair of the New York City Partnership; chairman emeritus of Columbia University; chairman emeritus of the Real Estate Board of New York; and past president of the Board of Trustees of the Dalton School.
His board affiliations include Siemens AG; Carnegie Hall; Yankee Global Enterprises; the Real Estate Roundtable; and the Urban Land Institute. He is a member of the Economic Club of New York and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Speyer graduated from Columbia College in 1962 and Columbia University Graduate School of Business in 1964.
Robert Tishman serves as Chairman today. Prior to the company's inception in 1978, Tishman was President, Chief Executive Officer and a Director of Tishman Realty & Construction Co., Inc. He is a past Chairman of the Real Estate Board of New York, Inc. and served as Governor of that organization from 1966 to 1979.
Tishman is past Chairman of Montefiore Medical Center and is presently Honorary Chairman. He is Associate Chairman and Charter Trustee of the Jewish Association for Services for the Aged and a Trustee of the Citizen's Budget Commission.
Tishman is a member of the Real Estate Advisory Committee of Cornell University and a member of the Board of Directors of Boys Harbor, Inc. He is Director of the Citizen's Housing and Planning Council, and is an Honorary Director of Grand Street Settlement.
Tishman graduated from Cornell University in 1937 and attended Columbia Law School.
Steven Spinola, President of The Real Estate Board, is chief executive officer of the real estate industry's leading trade association in New York City. The Real Estate Board's membership includes over 6,000 ranking building owners, developers, brokers, managers, banks, insurance companies, brokerage houses, architects, attorneys and other individuals and institutions professionally involved in New York City real property. The Board is a vigorous advocate of policies to promote local economic growth and residential construction and rehabilitation. REBNY represents industry positions before various legislative, regulatory and executive government bodies; conducts extensive research programs and publishes studies of its findings on a host of policy issues and market trends gives qualifying courses to satisfy professional licensing requirements as well as master seminars in certain real estate specialties; and pursues such civic endeavors as providing pro bono technical and other assistance to social agencies creating housing resources for New York City's homeless-population. Crain's New York Business has included Spinola in its list of the 100 Most Influential New Yorkers, describing him as the "authoritative public voice, lobbyist and conscience" of the industry he represents. In 1996, Governor Pataki appointed Spinola to serve on the New York State Real Estate Board, a panel with advisory responsibilities in regulating the profession.
Prior to becoming REBNY's President in 1986, Spinola served as President of the NYC Public Development Corporation, the municipal government's principal instrument for spurring large-scale commercial and industrial development and rehabilitation programs in New York. Mayor Koch also assigned the lead responsibility for developing the city's waterfront to the Corporation. During Spinola's tenure the dollar value of PDC's total inventory of development projects and programs exceeded $10 billion, its annual capital budget program was more than $100 million and its annual capital budget program was more than $8 million. Among the projects in which the Public Development Corporation was involved while Spinola was at its helm included the South Street Seaport, the 42nd Street Redevelopment Program, the Morgan Stanley Computer Center scheduled for downtown Brooklyn, the College Point Corporate Park in Queens and Fordham Plaza in the Bronx. Previously, Spinola held a number of senior positions with the NYC Office of Economic Development where he eventually became Deputy Director/Chief of Staff for Development. Before joining the municipal government, he served as a legislative assistant on the staff of the New York State Assembly Education Committee.
Spinola has also served as Executive Director of World Hunger, the organization that provided public information regarding world hunger issues. He was also active in the effort to enact federal legislation intended to address this problem. He entered public life as Director of Community Relations for the NYC Off-Track Betting Corporation.
Spinola holds a BA from the City College with a concentration in political science and government. He attended the Harvard Business School/Kennedy School of Government Summer Program for Senior Managers in Government. Spinola is married to the former Eileen Shea. They have two daughters, Elizabeth and Ellen.
Having founded one of the city's biggest and most successful real estate firms. Julien Studley Inc., in 1954, Julien Studley pioneered the tenant representation side of the real estate services business, created a model working environment for his brokers, and either orchestrated or was otherwise personally involved in some of the city's all time biggest leasing, sales and development deals. His exploits in the business are the stuff of legends and he is widely considered one of the most influential figures in New York City real estate over the past 50 years, but surprisingly Studley, who was a mentor to so many top brokers, claims that he himself was never a top broker and never even wanted to be.
After spending his formative years as a diamond cutter working in the diamond district, Studley first got into real estate in 1949 at the age of 19 after reading an article in Life magazine about William Zeckendorf's assemblage of the UN site for the Rockefellers. Among other things the profession seemed to offer him the chance to realize an entrepreneurial spirit previously ingrained in him. Spending a portion of his childhood living a somewhat nomadic existence, Studley came to long for a profession like real estate where the power to define and realize one's own destiny seemed well within reach.
Born and raised in Belgium to Polish-Jewish parents, Studley and his family had to flee when the Nazis invaded Belgium in 1940. The Studley's retreated away from the tendrils of the Nazi invasion and avoided capture, ducking at first into the south of France and then Northern Spain. Realizing that time was running out to escape Europe, the Studleys, after unsuccessfully trying to secure visas to the United States, immigrated to Cuba where they were detained in a refugee camp.
Studley's family arrived in the US by the late 40s where his father again found employment and Studley continued as a diamond cutter. But his desire to take a different path than his father drove him to pursue real estate.
"I told my father that I didn't really have an interest in school and what I really wanted to do was get into the real estate business," Studley said. "And although it was very different than what he did, he told me that it sounded like a good idea and he thought I could be very successful."
Louise M. Sunshine
Louise M. Sunshine is President and CEO of The Sunshine Group, Ltd. The Sunshine Group is recognized as the nation's premier marketing and sales company for residential real estate and hotel condominiums in the luxury market and is committed to creating value for its clients through a unique understanding of residential real estate, innovative marketing and a commitment to integrity and service. Ms. Sunshine has managed the sales and marketing of over 50 residential developments, completing more than $7 billion in salesover the past decade. The Sunshine Group is active in major markets throughout the United States including New York City, Palm Beach, Miami, Las Vegas, San Diego and Philadelphia. The Sunshine Group is the exclusive sales and marketing agent for One Central Park @ Time Warner Center, One Beacon Court, The Hubert, 165 Charles Street designed by Richard Meier, DOWNTOWN by Philippe Starck, Spring and Riverlofts in New York City and The Brazilian Court in West Palm Beach.
On June 26, 2002 NRT, Inc., a subsidiary of Cendant Corporation and the nation's largest residential real estate brokerage company, acquired The Sunshine Group, Ltd. This affiliation, which has a strong platform throughout the nation, has helped The Sunshine Group continue its growth and expansion.
Prior to starting the Sunshine Group, Ms. Sunshine was Executive Vice President of the Trump Organization, where she was instrumental in the development of many high profile properties.
She has served on the board of The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the Real Estate Development Advisory Board of Columbia University and was a commissioner for the New York City Commission on Women's Issues.
She is currently a member of Urban land Institute, Economic Club of NY, Real Estate Board of New York and International Real Estate Federation.
Mary Ann Tighe
During her 20 years in the real estate industry, Mary Ann Tighe has been responsible for over 50 million square feet of commercial transactions. She has conceived, structured and negotiated virtually every form of deal including ground leases, air rights acquisition and disposition, net and gross leases, government incentive packages, and a range of equity transfers from partnership and condominium interests through fee simple sales. Mary Ann's deals have anchored more than 5.5 million square feet of new construction in the New York region--believed to be a record in commercial brokerage.
Most significantly, Mary Ann has enjoyed unbroken, long-term relationships with a number of public and private companies and non-profit organizations, shaping and implementing their real estate strategies for large and small projects. Her on-going accounts include Archdiocese of New York, Conde Nast, Crain's, Fairchild Publications, Marsh Inc., The New York Times Company, SONY, and John Wiley & Sons.
Mary Ann Tighe was named CEO of CBRE's New York Tri-State Region in 2002. Mary Ann began her real estate career as a broker at the Edward S. Gordon Company, ultimately rising to the position of Vice Chairman of Insignia/ESG, where she was regularly) recognized among the firm's top producers.
Charles J. Urstadt
Charles Urstadt is Chairman and CEO of Urstadt Biddle Properties Inc., a New York Stock Exchange listed Real Estate Investment Trust that owns 30 commercial properties in 8 states containing 3.5 million square feet of space. He is also chairman of Urstadt Property Company, Inc., a family-owned firm that acts as principal in acquisition and ownership of real estate investments. Prior to that he was Chairman, CEO and President of Pearce, Urstadt, Mayer & Greer Realty Corp, a real estate brokerage and management firm that had nine regional offices in the US.
Urstadt was the first chairman and CEO of the Battery Park City Authority, appointed in Governor Nelson Rockefeller in 1968. He has been called the "Father of Battery Park City." The Authority was created to develop 100 acres in the Hudson River off lower Manhattan as a new community containing 6,000,000 SF of hotel, shopping, education, service and recreational space; and to sell its own bonds to finance the planning and to demolish existing piers, fill the area, and build all of the required schools, utilities, streets, platforms and civic recreational facilities. Urstadt's term as member and Chairman expired on December 31, 1978. He was reappointed as a member by Governor Pataki on January 1, 1998 for a six-year term and was elected Vice-Chairman upon his appointment.
He was also formerly Commissioner of the Division of Housing and Community Renewal for the State of New York from 1969 to 1973, responsible for the administration of the State's $2.5 billion middle income housing program, its $1 billion low income housing program, its $185 million Urban Renewal Program and State Rent Control. This entailed the planning, construction and management of 60,000 apartments in 144 middle-income projects; 66,000 apartments in 290 low-income projects and 200,000 apartments under rent control. He was also the chief architect of the concept for the Urban Development Corporation which was created in 1968, as well as I other legislation including Vacancy Decontrol and the "Urstadt Law," which vitally affected housing, urban renewal and rentcontrol throughout the State between 1967 and 1973.
Other previous official New York State positions Urstadt held included Chairman of the New York State Housing Finance Agency, New York State Building Code Council and Tri-State Regional Planning Commission. He was a Member of the Advisory Council--Civil Court of New York, New York State Social Development Planning Commission, New York State Urban Job Incentive Board, Temporary State Commission of the Capital City, New York State AD Hoc Committee on Energy Efficiency and New York State Council on Architecture.
Urstadt served as a Lieutenant USNR aboard the USS Bennington, an aircraft carrier with the Seventh Fleet from 1954 to 1956. He received his BA and MBA from Dartmouth College and their Amos Tuck School of Business, respectively He received his LLB from Cornell University, and he attended New York University's Graduate Law School with a specialty in Taxation. He also received an honorary degree from Pace University, and has been a visiting lecturer at Harvard, Columbia, NYU, Practicing Law Institute and The New School.
He has served as a director of the Putnam Trust Advisory Board, Greenwich; Bank of New York-Westchester-Putnam Board; FGH Realty Credit Corp.; Lawrence Management Co., Inc.; National Corporation for Housing Partnerships; Produce Exchange REIT; The Quest For Value Fund; Cooper Laboratories, Inc. and Douglas L. Elliman & Co., Inc. where he was a 50% controlling stockholder from 1973 to 1978. He has also served as Trustee at The New York Bank for Savings and Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association, as well as a member of The Chase Manhattan Bank, N.A.-Advisory Board and the Newman Real Estate Institute at Baruch College, where he still serves.
He has served in various positions on many leading real estate and construction organizations, including the Realty Foundation of New York, ABO, REBNY, the Real Estate Institute, New York University; The New York Building Congress; the New York Construction Users Council and the Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations.
His awards and honors are too numerous to list, among them are nine national, age group, swimming championships which he has won since the year 2000 and one world championship which he won in Munich in the 50 meter breast stroke in the year 2000. At the present time he holds three national age group breaststroke records and is competing in various international swimming meets.
He is also a member of the New York Stock Exchange and Vice Chairman of the Exchange Members Association, Inc. Currently residing in Bronxville, NY, he and his wife, the former Elinor Funk of Santa Monica, CA have two children, Charles D. Urstadt and Catherine U. Biddle.
Jack Weiler was a rabbi's son who left a lasting mark on the New York real estate scene through various development projects, but he is perhaps best remembered for his relentless devotion to philanthropic ventures.
Weiler was born on May 30, 1904 in the tiny Russian village of Svitskoy, in a one-and-a-half room house shared with his parents, Faivel and Chana Weiler, and nine brothers and sisters. His father was a teacher and scholar who taught children in his home.
The family originally came to the United States in 1910. The Weilers first settled on 112th Street, where they earned extra money doing "housework," sewing ribbons into corsets. Later, they moved to The Bronx. Rabbi Weiler taught yeshiva students for 23 years at Yeshivah Tifereth Yerushalaim on the Lower East Side and later at Torah Vo 'Daath in Brooklyn.
Weiler started his career as a real estate broker. In 1936 he joined forces with Benjamin H. Swig of Boston. Founded on a handshake, they developed a nationwide business that was known for its integrity, professionalism and philanthropic commitment. The partnerships own approximately 5 million square feet of commercial buildings in New York City, including the Grace Building, and over 1.5 million square feet in California, as well as other properties throughout the country. Operating through family-owned management and development companies, the Swig and Weiler-Arnow families have been involved in the acquisition, construction and management of a wide variety of commercial ventures. The portfolio now includes prestigious properties that attract some of the most prominent corporate and retail tenants in the country.
In New York City, me buildings include the distinctive sloping tower of the Grace Building at 1114 Avenue of the Americas and the flagship building of the women's sportswear industry, 1411 Broadway. Together, these two distinguished properties total over 2.4 million square feet.
Other properties in Manhattan are 1065 Avenue of the Americas (also known as 111 West 40th Street), a 537,000 square foot office building overlooking the newly renovated Bryant Park; 711 Third Avenue, a 515,000 square foot building that was the first modern skyscraper on the avenue; 1460 Broadway, a 165,000 square-foot office building; and 7 Hanover Square, an 800,000 square-foot building in the heart of the financial district, constructed together with the Milstein family.
One of the earliest and most significant ventures of Swig and Weiler was the acquisition of the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, which served as the centerpiece for a network of Fairmont Hotels in the United States. In 1982, the Weiler-Arnow Investment Company sold its interest in the Fairmont Hotels to the Swigs, but the two families have continued to own and manage their other real estate interests together through three generations.
The Swig and Weiler-Arnow families are renowned for their outstanding philanthropic support of a wide range of educational institutions, cultural programs and social service agencies in the United States and abroad. In New York, their leadership in the formation of business improvement districts has played an important role in the transformation of Bryant Park, the development of Grand Central Partnership and other civic endeavors.
Weiler was always a leader of philanthropy. As national United Jewish Appeal Chairman for more than 20 years, he traveled throughout the country raising funds. "Philanthropy comes first, ahead of my business," he said in a 1984 interview. His dedication to Israel's economic development was demonstrated through his long career of leadership at Israel Bonds. He had an important influence on the development of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, founded the Lay Advisory Council of the New York Board of Rabbis and organized the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York. As Chairman of the Board of Overseers of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, he guided the university through its period of most dynamic growth. In 1985, the Albert Einstein hospital was renamed the Jack D. Weiler hospital in his honor. As Chairman of the Housing Committee of the Jewish Agency for Israel, he brought together people and institutions to build 12,000 units of housing in Israel to house 50,000 immigrants. He was a founder of the Realty Foundation of New York and was considered a mentor in philanthropy by the leading figures in the real estate industry.
John R. White
John R. White, a New York realtor who set a price record in 1980 when he negotiated the $400 million sale of the Pan Am Building to the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, served as chairman of Landauer Associates, an international consulting company specializing the complex real estate transactions of large corporations, Mr. White had long been an expert in the Manhattan skyscraper market.
But nothing had quite prepared him for the complexities he encountered when Pan American World Airways, facing a financial squeeze that would lead to its bankruptcy a decade later, placed its flagship headquarters building on the market in 1980. The 59-story landmark, on Park Avenue just north of Grand Central Terminal, had been the world's largest commercial office building when it opened in 1963 with 2.25 million square feet of rentable space, and assessing its value in the buoyant 1980 New York real estate market proved daunting.
When the sale to Metropolitan Life was announced on July 28, 1980, Mr. White described the $400 million price as the largest ever paid for a single building--a record, he modestly suggested, that resulted from the building's unusual size. Maybe so, but the price also worked out to a record $177 a square foot, or $41 a foot more than another Park Avenue landmark, the Seagram Building, had attracted the year before.
In addition to setting a sales record, the transaction also became a footnote to legal history. Because the transaction had been structured so that it was not the building, but the stock in its single-asset corporate parent that was sold, Pan Am escaped all but $125 of the $4 million New York City real estate transfer tax that would have been due. In the resulting furor, the law was changed to close the loophole for future transactions.
The sale of the Pan Am Building may have been a special achievement, but Mr. White had long been a leading figure in real estate, one whose expertise extended from urban skyscrapers to suburban shopping malls and rural industrial sites.
He also played important roles in transactions involving the General Motors Building and Rockefeller Center in New York, L'Enfant Plaza in Washington and the Spring Hill, Tenn., site of the General Motors Saturn division.
He also wrote widely on the economics, financing and valuation of real estate, and taught at both New York and Columbia universities.
To achieve his business success, Mr. White, a native of New York, had to go beyond his Harvard education, which he did by attending night classes to obtain a master's degree in business administration from New York University.
"That degree was my salvation," he once said. "Up to then my education was mostly in things like English and history."
After serving in Coast Guard intelligence in World War II, Mr. White broke into New York real estate in 1946 as a broker with Byrne, Bowman & Forshay. He moved to Brown, Harris, Stevens residential real estate company in 1954 and joined Landauer in 1963. He headed the company from 1972 to 1985, when he became honorary chairman.
Hall F. Willkie
Hall Willkie is recognized as a leader and an innovator in Manhattan's very competitive and demanding high-end residential real estate market. As President of Brown Harris Stevens, Mr. Willkie oversees the Residential Sales Company and manages a staff of over 150 sales agents. He serves as a Governor of the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), and has served as a Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors, Ethics Committee and Interfirm Committee. In 1993 Mr. Willkie was honored with REBNY's prestigious Henry Forster Memorial Award.
Had the Kentucky-born Willkie chosen a profession other than real estate in which to make his name, it surely would have been in the world of horses. The Louisville native, raised on blue grass, schooled in Spain, Bermuda and the UK, and a '74 graduate of the University of Indiana School of Business Administration, spent eighteen months as assistant manager of the Clear Springs Thoroughbred Breeding and Training Farms in Virginia. After college, he became an executive trainee with Federated Department Stores Inc, of Miami, Florida, where he was promoted to Assistant Buyer and Department Manager at Federated's "Burdine's."
He began his real estate career in 1977 as a sales agent with Stamford, Connecticut based William Pitt, Inc, where he was promoted to Sales Manager. In 1979 he joined Sotheby's International Realty as Vice President/Director of its Western Division in the Los Angeles office. At Sotheby's his sales represented record-high prices for single-family homes. In 1984 he returned east as Senior Vice President of Douglas Elliman and eventually Director of Residential Sales. He joined Brown Harris Stevens in October 1988.
Hall Willkie currently lives on Manhattan's East Side and owns a working farm in upstate New York with chickens, ducks, and four horses, including 'heavy hunters' and a Percheron which he enjoys riding in his leisure time.
Fred Wilpon is Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board of Sterling Equities. He is also Chairman and CEO of the New York Mets. In 2000, he founded and became Chairman of the Brooklyn Baseball Company that owns the Brooklyn Cyclones. Wilpon received a BA from the University of Michigan in 1958. His background includes extensive experience in all aspects of the real estate industry as well as serving as the Senior Executive of many diversified businesses.
Wilpon is a Director of Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. and Loews Corporation, and a member of the JP Morgan Chase Regional Advisory Board.
Since 1972 Sterling has been active in the acquisition, development, ownership, operations and management of commercial, residential, industrial and retail properties throughout the US. Sterling and its affiliates have developed and acquired over 41,000 apartment units and 17,000,000 SF of commercial and retail space.
In the 1970s and 1980s Sterling acquired numerous commercial, residential and retail properties in New York, New Jersey, Missouri, Florida, Georgia, Illinois and Texas. During the 1980s and 1990s and into the 21st century, Sterling developed and built premier office properties of over 1,000,000 SF, a major residential tower in the heart of Manhattan, suburban condominium communities and a complete urban sport's complex.
As a real estate consultant, Sterling has made available its development, management, operational and entrepreneurial expertise to governmental, institutional and equity owners including affiliates of J.P. Morgan; Bear Stearns & Co. Inc; The US Postal Service and Cablevision
Today Sterling acquires properties throughout the United States for its Funds through Sterling American Property Inc.
Sterling American Property Inc. represents the real estate investment funds formed and operated by affiliates of Sterling Equities and American Securities LP. Since 1991, Sterling has successfully established and operated four investment funds, the first three of which have been substantially invested. Sterling American Property Fund IV is currently acquiring properties throughout the United States. Acquisitions to date include over $3 billion of real property, notes and mortgages.
Major properties developed by Sterling and its affiliates include: 383 Madison Avenue 450 Lexington, 885 Third Avenue, 575 Fifth Avenue, Sterling Plaza (49th Street and Second Avenue), 1370 Avenue of the Americas and 450 Park Avenue.
John E. Zuccotti
John Zuccotti is chairman of the US division of Brookfield Properties Corporation, senior counsel in the real estate department of the law firm of Weil, Gostshal & Manges LLP, and chairman of the REBNY. He served as president and CEO of Olympia & York Companies (USA) from 1990 to 1996, and was a partner in the law firm of Brown & Wood from 1986 to 1990, and a partner in the law firm of Tufo & Zuccotti from 1978 to 1986.
Zuccotti has spent a significant portion of his career in prominent government positions in NY and Washington, D.C. He was First Deputy Mayor under Mayor Abraham Beame from 1975 to 1977, and was Chairman of the City Planning Commission under Mayor John Lindsay. He also chaired special task forces on police management and on the homeless for Mayor Edward Koch and on the World Trade Center for Governor Hugh Carey. In Washington, D.C, he served as assistant to HUD Secretary Robert Wood and as special counsel to the Housing Subcommittee of the House Banking and Currency Committee.
In the private sector, he has played a leading role in the development of major projects in the NY metropolitan area, and in such diverse communities as Reston, VA and a Navajo Reservation in Shiprock, NM. He also helped plan a new town in Venezuela. He has also been a labor relations arbitrator between transit unions and the NYS Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Zuccotti sits on many corporate, educational and non-profit boards and is a trustee emeritus of Columbia University where he was Chairman of the Building and Grounds Committee. He has also been on the Advisory Committee to the Harvard University-MIT Joint Study for Urban Studies.
A graduate of Princeton University in 1959, Zuccotti received his law degree from Yale University Law School in 1963. He was an officer in the US Army. A native New Yorker, Zuccotti, 67, lives with his wife, Susan, in Brooklyn. They have three children and two grandchildren.
Developer Donald Zucker is Vice President Owners Division of the Real Estate Board of New York and founder of the Donald Zucker Company, a national mortgage and equity brokerage firm located in New York City. He is chairman of the Manhattan Skyline Management Corp., an arm of the Zucker organization that currently manages 12 residential buildings in New York totaling nearly 4,000 luxury apartments. The properties are located in New York City's most desirable residential neighborhoods. Their latest project is 205 East 59th St., a new 27-story luxury condominium tower rising on the site that once housed the Baronet and Coronet Theaters. Together with his wife Barbara, the Zuckers are among New York City's leading 'philanthropists.
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|Title Annotation:||real estate executives|
|Publication:||Real Estate Weekly|
|Date:||Aug 20, 2005|
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