God and Joe Chetrit: New York’s Other Elusive Real Estate Moguls

  • This week The Observer profiled Jeff Sutton, arguably the most powerful retail landlord in New York City. New Yorkers may be forgiven, however, for not knowing his name—Mr. Sutton resides among that nebulous class of real estate moguls who own vast swathes of the city but who have never met a reporter they wanted to talk to.

    Here are a few others.

    tacitelli@observer.com  ::  Follow on Twitter @tacitelli

  • In January of 2010, The Observer called Mr. Bender "King Neil of Greenwich Village," and we were not wrong to do so: Victories in legal disputes involving other heirs of his uncle, William Gottlieb, left Mr. Bender with around 100 buildings in the neighborhood. Most are or have been like this one at 7 Weehawken Street—nothing fancy, but recall the first adage of real estate: location, man, location.

  • This was construction at the World Trade Center site early on. Mr. Goldman was the wallet for the private funding on the project, leading a group of equity investors in putting $125 million toward it. In fact, he—and not the much better known Larry Silverstein nor his heirs—will likely take control of much of the office space there some day. Meanwhile, it's estimated Mr. Goldman controls 1 in 5 buildings in New York.

  • Mr. Schron controls some 15 million square feet of real estate throughout the New York City region, including a stake in the Woolworth Building (above back in the day). He is aided by several sons.

  • Joseph Chetrit.

    This is 19 West 44th Street, the first commercial purchase of Mr. Chetrit, the Moroccan-born tycoon who made his initial real estate nut in outer-borough apartments. He has gone on to win properties throughout the United States, including most recently—and controversially—the Chelsea Hotel on West 23rd Street.

  • Ever-elusive God, through his various religious representatives, has amassed perhaps the single largest property portfolio in New York City. The Catholic Church alone controls over $1.5 billion in assets, according to an analysis last year by The Observer. Throw in synagogues, mosques, Protestant churches—the exact amount of property controlled by the Almighty might never be known given its privileged place on the assessment rolls.