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Peter Jay Sharp remembered as embodiment of industry.

Real estate developer and hotelier Peter Jay Sharp was remembered by fellow industry members last week as an astute professional with great integrity, a well-rounded individual and an outstanding citizen.

Sharp, who was a success in the hotel, office and residential markets, died on April 17 at the age of 61.

"Peter Sharp extraordinary individual," said Larry Silverstein. "He truly embodied the best of the real estate professional."

The hotel business was in Sharp's blood. He owned Manhattan's Carlyle Hotel at 35 East 76th Street in Manhattan. His family operated Delmonico's, the Ritz Tower, the Stanhope, and the Beaux Arts in Manhattan and the St. Francis in San Francisco. In 1970, he led a hotel partnership, which included his mother, in purchasing the Saranac Inn in the Adirondacks, the Gotham Hotel in Manhattan and the Beverly Wilshire in Los Angeles.

In the early 70's, he assembled properties on Broadway between 45th and 46th Streets for a hotel designed by John Portman that would be part of the Times Square Redevelopment. The original were stopped by legal and financial hurdles, but the site later became the Marriott Marquis.

Hotel expert and consultant Stephen W. Brener, president of Stephen W. Brener Associates, Inc. said, "He was a fine businessman and he certainly has one of the finest hotels in the world [the Carlyle].

The Carlyle, Brener said, is unusual because of its long-standing success as a family hotel.

"There are certain family hotels around the world but not many," he said.

Among the office and residential developments he helped build, own and/or operate was the office tower at 450 Park Avenue at the Southwest corner of 57th Street; the 28-story office building at 1370 Avenue of the Americas at the southeast corner at 56th Street; and the skyscraper apartment building on 88th Street between Park and Madison. He also owned the Mayfair apartments at 15 West 72nd Street that he converted to cooperative in 1980.

Sharp was also in the residential service business for a time. He left the family hotel business in the late 50's to join Douglas Elliman. Though he left the firm for a short time in the early 60's to start his own company, he returned and went on to lead the firm and later purchase it in 1964. He later sold the firm to the Abacus Fund, of which he became chairman and chief executive.

Jerome Green, a partner with Sharp on a number of investments including the Carlyle Hotel and 450 Park Avenue, said Sharp immersed himself in his business and analyzed each of his projects thoroughly. As a result, he said, all of his properties were well located and well financed.

"He understood the business very well," Green said. "He was the consummate real estate investor. In this chaotic market, all the properties are functioning well."

Alan Simon of Jean Marc Levet, said he knew of Sharp's talent for devising new financing angles and techniques.

He was, Simon said, "one of the most brilliant and most innovative men in the industry."

Sharp's civic involvements were many and, in June, he was due to become chairman of the Julliard School. He was former chairman of the New York City Opera and a board member of the Fund for Better Subway Stations, the International Center for the Disabled, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Vivian Beaumont Theater, the City Center and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He also created the Peter Jay Sharp Foundation.

A musician in his own rite, Sharp was a student of classical piano and he performed with the Colorado String Quartet.

Dan Rose, of Rose Associates, said Sharp was a personal friend of he and his brothers Fred and Elihu. Sharp's love of music and the dedication to the community, Rose said, reflected well on the industry. He was also a noted collector of Old Master paintings.

"We just thought he was fine practitioner of our trade, a fine human being, a fine citizen of this city," he said. "He just was an example of a person who led a rich, full life."

Sharp was born in Manhattan and graduated from Princeton. He served in the United States Navy in 1953-54.
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Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:real estate developer
Author:Fitzgerald, Therese
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Article Type:Biography
Date:Apr 29, 1992
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