The 100 Most Powerful People in New York Real Estate



David Jackson

CEO of Istithmar

Mr. Jackson, head of the Dubai-based Istithmar, has snapped up Barneys and Loehmann’s in his effort to capitalize on New York City’s growing income stratification. It’s cynical. And brilliant. Istithmar and Istithmar Real Estate have spent no less than $7 billion in New York since ’05.



Frank Gehry

Owner of Gehry Partners LLP

If Bruce Ratner is right, and his 16-skyscraper-and-arena Atlantic Yards project comes to fruition, Mr. Gehry, its designer, will alter Brooklyn’s aesthetic as we know it. If, however, it continues to stumble … Well, just ask the Municipal Arts Society, which recently put out some ugly renderings to that effect.



Albert Behler

CEO of the Paramount Group

Backed with German financing, Mr. Behler’s Paramount Group was one of the most active traders of buildings last year, even after the credit crunch. He bought 31 West 52nd Street, sold 1177 Avenue of the Americas and One Financial Square, and was said to be close to buying 650 Madison Avenue.



Joseph Moinian

CEO of the Moinian Group

The Persian tycoon claims to have developed more property downtown than any other private landowner—at least until the Freedom Tower is finished—and is busy with the area’s first major hotel project: the 57-story W Downtown Hotel & Residences, opening in 2009.


Charles Schumer

U.S. Senator

The Senate’s third-highest-ranking Democrat, Mr. Schumer plays an integral role in bringing funding for key initiatives, as he did so successfully for Lower Manhattan. And just this week, he charted a course for West Side land-use policy, one that would be at odds with the city’s strategy.



Robert J. Ivanhoe

Chairman of the New York Office at GreenbergTraurig

There isn’t a secret coterie of cackling lawyers controlling New York, which would be cool, but at least there are huge figures like Mr. Ivanhoe, who helped usher in the $5.4 billion Stuy Town deal, the $675 million Plaza purchase, and apparently the largest U.S. residential construction loan ever, for Larry Silverstein.



Larry Silverstein

President and CEO of Silverstein Properties

Just two months before Sept. 11, Mr. Silverstein signed a 99-year lease for the World Trade Center. Bad timing. Yet since 2001, he’s completed 7 World Trade Center, begun construction of the Freedom Tower and has even bid on at least one of Harry Macklowe’s old Equity properties.



Adrian Benepe

Commissioner of the Department of Parks & Recreation

More than one-seventh of the city is controlled by the agency that Mr. Benepe has led since the start of the Bloomberg administration. He is overseeing a major parks expansion, and new projects like Manhattan’s High Line are spawning nearby development and hiking land values.



Charles P. Stevenson Jr.

Co-op President at 740 Park Avenue

The bronze doors to 740 Park are worth 10 bronzed trophy wives, and he’s the gatekeeper. His predecessor, Donald Rynne, told him to keep the co-op Christian, which didn’t happen, but, like its neighbors, 740 Park is still massively white. If that changed, its peers just might follow suit, too.


Michael Fascitelli

President of Vornado Realty Trust

The top deputy to Steve Roth, Mr. Fascitelli has run Vornado for more than 10 years now and helped expand its presence dramatically within the city limits. It’s now one of the biggest landlords in the Penn Station area and a co-developer, along with Stephen Ross’ Related, of Moynihan Station.



Frank Bruni

New York Times Food Critic

Tho ugh more feared than any other reviewer, Mr. Bruni is not the restaurant grim reaper: “It’s not my goal … to put a restaurant out of business.” But it happens. Just ask Alain Ducasse. Or Tim Love. Or their landlords.



Avi Schick

Acting President and CEO of the Empire State Development Corporation

Supporters like Shelly Silver call him competent, hardworking and effective. Critics call him a steamroller. Either way, he’s overseeing billions of dollars of economic development projects, including Moynihan Station, Atlantic Yards, the West Side rail yards, the Javits Center, and ground zero.



André Balazs

CEO of André Balazs Properties

The handsome hotelier behind the Mercer and Chateau Marmont is developing what some consider the most unusual and significant New York building in years: the High Line-straddling Standard New York, a 300-room hotel on stilts that Curbed likened to the four-legged war machines from The Empire Strikes Back.



Marc Jacobs

Co-founder and Designer at Marc Jacobs International

Marc Jacobs didn’t invent the West Village, but his five stores there have made it into a precious, pricey, overpopulated, well-corduroyed, bubble-skirted dreamland. There’s a store for men, one for women, two for accessories and one for noun-named children.



Richard LeFrak

Chairman of LeFrak Organization

Third-generation king of one of New York’s most durable real estate dynasties, Mr. LeFrak’s firm owns more than 5,000 apartments locally (most in LeFrak City in Queens) and millions more square feet of office space nationwide.

The 100 Most Powerful People in New York Real Estate