The Power 100

Chairman of the Related Companies

Recession be damned. As foreclosures proliferate and new construction is mostly halted citywide, Mr. Ross, also the owner of the Miami Dolphins, is not slowing down. To name a few of the items that take up his days: He is mid-construction on a hotel and apartment tower on 42nd Street; he has amassed a large acquisition fund to scoop up distressed assets; he has started a bank with his partners at Related, looking to buy a failed bank; he is negotiating with the New Jersey governor about taking over the giant Xanadu mega-mall; and he constantly has executives at Related’s doorstep, looking to a man with money.

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CEO and president-chief investment officer, repsectively, of SL Green

It’s hard to overstate this one. Messrs. Holliday (pictured) and Mathias together control SL Green, which is the single largest commercial landlord in New York City, controlling 23.2 million square feet in 29 office buildings. If SL Green’s battles at 100 Church and 510 Madison—and its recent buys of 600 Lexington and 125 Park—are any indication, the REIT has every intention of further expanding its New York empire.

Chairman-CEO of Boston Properties

Not only does Mr. Zuckerman’s Boston Properties control 8.88 million square feet of office property in New York City, including the GM Building, but he’s on the prowl for more, one of three runners-up, along with Douglas Durst (No. 8) and Stephen Ross (No. 1), to buy an equity stake in the building formerly known as the Freedom Tower.

Michael Nagle

Chairman and president, CEO and Trustee, respectively of Vornado Realty Trust. Pictured: Roth

The bluntly spoken yet oddly press-shy Mr. Roth, with his right-hand-man, Mr. Fascitelli, together control the second-largest office landlord in New York, their REIT owning 22 million feet in more than 50 Manhattan properties. These include several around Penn Station, including the Hotel Pennsylvania, which Vornado would turn into the city’s third-tallest office tower.



Senior managing director and Real Estate Group co-head of Blackstone

Mr. Gray has shepherded some of the company’s biggest deals, including the privatization of nearly a dozen real estate companies and, most notably, Hilton Hotels (including the Waldorf-Astoria), which rebounded last month after Blackstone bought back $1.8 billion in debt. 


CEO of Starwood Capital Group

Few chief executives have enjoyed such success during this Great Recession as Mr. Sternlicht, who managed to drive up Starwood’s total equity by a whopping $3 billion since last year. His capital-raising skills go a long way in explaining why, just last month, he and a group of investors shoveled $905 million into financially troubled Extended Stay Hotels, a company that boasted among the largest debt loads in hotel history.

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CEO of CB Richard Ellis' New York Tri-state Region; Chairman of the Real Estate Board of New York

Feared and admired in equal measure, Ms. Tighe has completed millions of square feet of leasing transactions. Also, as the chairman of the Real Estate Board of New York since January, she has the ear of countless landlords and policy makers as REBNY pursues what for it is a rather well-publicized political agenda.


Co-presidents of the Durst Organization

Environmentalist stalwarts, cousins and keepers of the family fortune, Messrs. Durst control an empire of commercial and residential real estate that encompasses the fabulously successful new One Bryant Park, the Helena, 4 Times Square and, if they have their way with the Port Authority, a piece of One World Trade Center.

Mayor of New York

His main rezonings are done; his legacy projects were announced years ago; and he has few distinct plans for the third term. Still, our Medici wields power over anyone seeking to build anything large, and he and Deputy Mayor Bob Lieber (No. 73) have shown an eagerness to take assets from the state. They’ve now grabbed Governors Island and Brooklyn Bridge Park, and are eyeing Battery Park City.

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Chairman, president and CEO of the Le-Frak Organization

His personal wealth estimated at $4 billion, Mr. LeFrak controls the New York empire founded by his grandfather Harry, which includes 40 West 57th Street and, in Queens, the eponymous LeFrak City, the Brussels and the Marseille. The empire is also pursuing Stuyvesant Town in a partnership with Wilbur Ross.


Chairman and co-CEOs of Tishman Speyer. Pictured: Rob

While the father-son duo has distressed properties around the country, vestiges of a buying spree at the peak of the market, they still are at the head of one of the more dominant families in New York City. Among their holdings: Rockefeller Center, the Chrysler Building and the MetLife building, all of which are surely worth far more than when they purchased them.

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CEO of Island Capital Group

An heir whose surname literally means “wolf,” Mr. Farkas is nothing if not aggressive when it comes to investing. Years after making a name for himself by snatching up a distressed real estate partnership in circa 1990s Manhattan, he returned to the front pages of the business trades in March after acquiring Centerline Holding, a bankrupt group that restructures troubled mortgages. When he’s not picking through real estate carcasses, Mr. Farkas is said to cheer on his former employee, governor-in-waiting Andrew Cuomo.

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Chairman-CEO of Telmex; head of Real Estate Investments. Pictured: Carlos

Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim Helú (pictured), the world’s richest person, according to Forbes (estimated wealth: $53.5 billion), bought the plain vanilla office building at 417 Fifth Avenue, owns a note backing The New York Times’ former headquarters and is said to be searching for more such investments—with son Tony—in Manhattan. Carlos Slim, budding New York real estate mogul? Puede ser?

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Founder of Craigslist

On his Twitter bio (he has a loyal 21,899 followers) the classifieds caliph humbly describes himself as “customer service rep and founder for craigslist.” He does not mention the company’s ongoing legal battles with eBay or the fact that his international classifieds purveyor, which began as a personal email list 15 years ago, has more than 20 billion page views per month, many of which service a DIY-hungry real estate community.

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Attorney general of New York

Despite no announcement of his intentions, much of the New York political world views Mr. Cuomo as the governor-in-waiting. He’s expected to control the state in eight months, and his campaign coffers are flush with real estate contributions. He also has a history in the housing world: He was HUD secretary in the late 1990s, in President Clinton’s cabinet; and his current office approves or rejects condo offering plans. 

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CEO of the Trump Organization

To a younger generation, the Donald may be best known for firing up-and-comers and boldface names alike on The Apprentice. But buried deep his colorful Google results, Mr. Trump, it seems, is still a developer at heart. To wit: After years of playing Goliath to neighborhood groups, the Trump Soho Hotel Condominium finally opened in Manhattan last month, atop an ancient burial ground, no less.

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Speaker of the State Assembly

With a lame-duck governor and a slim Democratic majority in the Senate, Mr. Silver is often referred to as the de facto governor. He has strong control over his conference, and anything going through the Legislature must receive his nod. For real estate, the object of much of his affection is his Lower Manhattan district, which he has helped shower with tax breaks and infrastructure.

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Chairman and president, respectively, of Malkin Holdings.

The Malkins are a multigenerational New York real estate family, with office holdings throughout the region. Most notably, they are co-owners of the Empire State Building, which has been going through a much-ballyhooed green upgrade—Anthony Malkin (R) announced it last year with Bill Clinton at his side. Speaking of last year, Malkin Holdings leased more than 1.1 million square feet in 2009, of which only about 400,000 involved renewals.

Chairman of Equity Group Investments

Before this year, Mr. Zell was known locally for riding a motorcycle, being delightfully crude in public settings and owning the Tribune Company. But in March, he gobbled up Harry Macklowe’s last three apartment buildings for $475 million, following a $12 million deal for a lot owned by Shaya Boymelgreen. Suddenly, he was all about New York, or at least distressed properties in it.

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Executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

After the authority’s bruising, yearlong negotiation with developer Larry Silverstein (No. 33), a financial agreement is in place at the World Trade Center for two new private towers, thanks in large part to the Port Authority’s balance sheet. Taken with One World Trade Center, which the agency is developing itself, Mr. Ward has his hands in 7 million square feet downtown.

Chairman, Rubenstein Communications, Inc.

When something goes wrong, clients—and reporters—call Mr. Rubenstein, the city’s public-relations master, who has been styled “the dean of damage control” by Rudolph Giuliani. His eponymous firm, with more than 200 employees, represents a staggering roster of clients, including SL Green, Vornado Realty Trust, Tishman Speyer and dozens of other real estate players.

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President of the Real Estate Board of New York

The State Senate may be Democratic, but Mr. Spinola has managed to help ward off any legislation that might hurt landlords’ bottom lines. Now, he is using his trade group and landlord cash to mimic unions, better organizing members on policy issues and raising money for a political party of sorts, tentatively using the Independence Party line to push pro-business candidates.

James Hamilton


President-CEO of the Feil Organization

The multigenerational real estate investment firm that bears his name cast a wide net last year, to Herald Square, where the group acquired the 250,000-square-foot Herald Center. The nine-story shopping mall marks the Feil’s 19th shopping center acquisition, but Mr. Feil, a founding partner of the private-equity group Longview, didn’t pause to enjoy the purchase. He was off to oversee the acquisition of a retail segment of the St. Regis Hotel, which commands the highest retail asking rents in the city.

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President of Rudin Management Company

Mr. Rudin may be struggling to get his St. Vincent’s redevelopment project under way, now that the hospital has declared bankruptcy, but at least he has that whole real estate empire thing going for him: 15 office towers, including 345 Park Avenue and 1675 Broadway, well over a dozen residential properties and, of course, the leadership of the Association for a Better New York, allowing him an influential voice in real-estate–related public policy.

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President-CEO of CB Richard Ellis' New York Tri-state Region

Mr. Rudin oversees the management of the largest commercial real estate brokerage in New York City. It is 700 employees strong; given the general broker personality type, it cannot be easy to run. Still, CBRE continues to dominate the city’s office-leasing landscape, working on more of 2009’s largest leases than any other firm.


Chairman, CEO, president and regional president, respectively, of Newmark Knight Frank.

Messrs. Gural, Gosin (pictured) and Kuhn have transformed Newmark Knight Frank into a top-flight commercial brokerage by carefully cultivating both young talent and an enviable work environment. (Mr. Falk is being groomed to take it all over.) In so doing, they’ve scored countless prime tenants, from Claremont Prep to Orrick Herrington.

James Hamilton

President, Jones Lang LaSalle New York Region

Mr. Riguardi is one of the more dominant office brokers in town, representing numerous banks and buildings and occasionally playing both sides of big deals (like in a large lease at One World Trade Center, for instance). His firm is charged with finding tenants for Goldman Sach’s old headquarters, at 85 Broad Street, as well as at 1285 Avenue of the Americas, among others.

Chairman-CEO and president, respectively, of Studley.

Messrs. Steir (pictured) and Colacino lead New York’s preeminent tenant rep brokerage, and are doing so during the most tenant-friendly office market in ages. It pays. Their stable of brokers have won two of the past three top REBNY awards, and they continue to rake in the clients. The latest coup? Negotiating Tiffany’s new headquarters in four-plus floors of 200 Fifth Avenue.

James Hamilton


Managing director of Cerberus Real Estate

He’s known for conjuring innovative investment deals, including landmark acquisitions of the discount retailer Mervyns and grocery store chain Albertsons. But what many investment and real estate professionals talk about when they discuss Mr. Kravit is how he helped put into play the trend of hedge funds entering the private-equity sphere. In these heady financial times, innovation is key.

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Senior managing director and head of U.S Investment Activities, respectively, Angelo, Gordon & Company.

As head of real estate acquisitions at Angelo, Gordon & Company, Mr. Barket (pictured) and Mr. Schwartz have spearheaded many of the savviest property buys in recent memory, including the Chelsea Market in 1998 as part of a package deal of five buildings. After purchasing the portfolio for a paltry $115 million, the firm upgraded the buildings and sold them individually for a reported total of $1 billion. More recently, the firm, in a partnership with Extell, signed a deal to acquire the Helmsley Carlton House hotel.

Co-presidents of Rose Associates

The cousins Rose, one arm of the storied real estate family, are amassing a greater portfolio these days, due in large part to the market crash. From Riverton House to Stuyvesant Town (though not officially for Stuy Town), the company has become the third-party manager of choice for many of the larger distressed assets, an area that is most certainly a growth industry.

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President of CW Capital Asset Management

Slowly but surely, CW Capital is taking control of Manhattan’s commercial market. Under Mr. Spetka, the firm is the “special servicer” charged with restructuring or selling giant properties bought at the market’s peak and now in, or near, default. Among the properties in the purview of the relatively anonymous firm: Stuyvesant Town, Riverton and the W Hotel Downtown.

President of Silverstein Properties

After taking a tenacious approach to yearlong negotiations with the Port Authority, Mr. Silverstein now is able to build two office towers at the World Trade Center site, backed in large part by public-sector subsidies. Should he raise private capital, he will own some of the only new office space in the city starting in 2013, with large blocks available for leasing.

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Chairwoman of the City Planning Commission

The design-attentive Ms. Burden and her department have now rezoned more than one-fifth of the city, restricting development in side streets and allowing new density near subways, in formerly industrial areas along the waterfront; the major city-led rezonings are now mostly finished. Private developers must first gain her stamp of approval on many large projects.

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Head of Real Estate Investment Banking in the Americas, Bank of America

Among the Merrill Lynch employees who joined B of A after the two companies merged, shotgun-style, Mr. Horowitz may be the new group’s brightest star. Indeed, as the bank seeks to entrench itself in a lucrative bid to help financially strapped private companies enter the public markets, few individuals are better positioned to contribute to the bank’s bottom line than Mr. Horowitz, who as an investment banker in the 1990s helped move financially burdened private landlords to the public sector and, subsequently, helped rev up equity for the REIT industry.

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President of BLDG Management

Heir to his uncle’s real estate throne, the press-shy Mr. Goldman has become probably the city’s biggest private landlord, with an unknown total of apartment and mixed-use buildings under his purview that likely totals in the hundreds.

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CEO of the Shorenstein Co.

It’s been only about eight years since the San Francisco–based real estate firm penetrated the New York markets in earnest. Ever since then, however, Mr. Shorenstein, who has been credited with turning his long-established family-run business into a national player, has financed and invested in properties here and elsewhere with the zeal of a New Yorker.


Principals of Milstein Properties

Leaders of one of the city’s most powerful real estate families, brothers Howard (L) and Edward (R) inherited the company from father Paul and his own brother, Seymour. Generally, they try to stay afloat and under the radar, due in part to a fraternal power scuffle several years back. Milstein owns sizable Manhattan square footage, but the recent completion of two Battery Park City condo towers marks the company’s first ground-up construction in years.

CEO of Brookfield Properties

The largest office landlord in Lower Manhattan, Mr. Clark’s publicly traded Brookfield is trying to buy General Growth Properties and presumably is looking for other acquisitions as well. His challenge: finding tenants to fill the World Financial Center, as millions of square feet are expiring by 2013.

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Chairman of LNR

The former chief of Deutsche Asset Management, Mr. Hughes took charge of the Lennar real estate finance spinoff LNR in July 2007. Rumors have it that the flush firm is circling the city, positioning Mr. Hughes to be among the more rapacious investors to come out of the recession.

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Chairman, Global CEO and North American CEO, respectively, of AREA Property Partners. Pictured: Neibart (L), William Mack (R)

The real estate über-investor and fund manager has made the recession work to its advantage, soliciting foreign investors and eagerly scooping up distressed assets and bottomed-out hotels around the city. The investment locomotive, best known as co-developer of the Time Warner Center, is optimistic about the return of the corporate market, but Mr. Neibart recently told The Observer that investing in retail and office space is still a ways off.

CEO, managing director and senior partner, respectively, of Cantor Fitzgerald.

Since 2008, when Cantor Fitzgerald announced its entry into the real estate investment and development market, the financial group has been on a hiring spree. Mr. Lutnick (pictured) is at the helm of the newest venture, Cantor Real Estate, and has already announced plans to bring on more than 130 new professionals. Former Credit Suisse stars, like Mr. Kantor and Mr. Orso, figure prominently in the new strategy.

Would-be owner of the Brooklyn Nets

Assuming the NBA gives him the thumbs-up, Mr. Prokhorov, a Russian billionaire, is slated to become owner of New York City’s newest professional sports team, as well as a co-owner of the Barclays Center now under construction in downtown Brooklyn after seven years of planning.


Chairman-CEO and president-CIO, respectively, of L&L Holdings

In these economically turbulent times, it’s hard to blame the landlord who forgoes excitement for stability. Messrs. Levinson (pictured) and Lapidus, however, turned the tables when they rejected numerous offers at 200 Fifth Avenue and instead took on Eataly, an ambitious, Turin-based food emporium. Add to that news last month that Tiffany’s HQ would be occupying four and a half floors in the building, and it becomes clear that the duo is behind one of the flashiest projects in years.

Co-chairmen of Zeckendorf Realty and of Terra Holdings. Pictured: Arthur

The urbane Zeckendorfs, who were among the first developers to bring condominiums to New York City—most recently, the epically successful 15 Central Park West, probably still the nation’s most expensive condo, sales-wise—spend their spare time controlling Terra Holdings, the owner of Halstead and Brown Harris Stevens, the employer of more than 600 brokers and the manager of more than 80 buildings.

Vice chairmen of CB Richard Ellis

If a building got sold during the recession, they sold it. And now that the recession appears to be bottoming out, if not finally lifting, Ms. Stacom and Mr. Shanahan are busy again. Recently, the duo helped Hines sell 600 Lexington Avenue to SL Green for $193 million.

Shravan Vidyarthi


Senior managing directors of Eastdil Secured

After advising Deutsche Bank in its sale of the former Macklowe office empire, Mr. Harmon continues to be at the fulcrum of the investment sales market, which today means trading in mortgage notes. Most recently, with fellow senior managing director Mr. Spies, he’s been hired by Royal Bank of Canada to sell the $210 million note on the Lipstick Building.

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New York Capital Markets team for Jones Lang LaSalle. Pictured: Latham

Jones Lang LaSalle just poached these four from Cushman & Wakefield, where they spent the boom time selling billions of dollars’ worth of real estate before the bust rendered them idle. Now they’re tasked with expanding JLL’s share of the investment sales market. 

CEO of Cushman & Wakefield

After Bruce Mosler transitioned to a chairmanship at Cushman, the brokerage hired industry veteran Glen Rufrano, no stranger to the title. Before assuming the helm in March, Mr. Rufrano was CEO of Australia-based Centro Properties; prior to that, he was CEO of New Plan Excel Realty Trust Inc.


Managing directors of the Carlyle Group

With a focus on New York City and Washington, Messrs. Stuckey, Schoenfeld and Chung have been a formidable trifecta for the Carlyle Group for years. But plans to re-tenant a swath running the entire block of Fifth Avenue between 52nd and 53rd streets with high-level retailers could translate into even more success for the team. Only last month, Carlyle inked a whopping $300 million lease at 666 Fifth Avenue, the retail of which it partly owns, for Japanese clothing retailer Uniqlo.

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Chairman and executive vice president, respectively, of Glenwood Management.

Long before it became fashionable—or, to be more accurate, economically feasible—to focus on the rental market, the nonagenarian Mr. Litwin (L) and Mr. Jacob (R) were doing just that. In a down market, however, the duo’s plans seem downright prescient. And now as competitors rush to convert unsold condos, Glenwood Management is successfully leasing Emerald Green, the 569-unit residential complex on West 38th Street.

CEO of iStar Financial

Mr. Sugarman runs a commercial lender that has financed more than $28 billion in projects. Although its clients have included such luminaries as Harry Macklowe and Donald Trump, the company has been hit hard by the downturn, losing $24.2 million in the first quarter of 2010. Still, a recent $1.4 billion property sale to Dividend Capital Realty Trust demonstrates that iStar remains a hefty player.

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Chairman of Forest City Ratner

For the past seven years, Mr. Ratner’s focus has been on Atlantic Yards, the planned home to a Brooklyn Nets arena and, eventually, thousands of units of housing. This spring, he finally emerged the winner of the fight with defiant landowners. He was clearly wounded by delays and the economic crash, but he is still standing, and construction is under way.

Global Brokerage hairman of CB Richard Ellis

It’s hard to find a real estate professional without a kind word to say about Mr. Siegel—this, despite his enormous success in the brokerage business. Now, Mr. Siegel, who’s something of the wise godfather of New York real estate, is busy helping landlord Steve Pozycki land Proskauer Rose for 11 Times Square, in what will surely be one of the biggest leases of the year.

James Hamilton

Former governor David Paterson (Photo: Getty Images).

Governor of New York

He may be a lame duck under a cloud of scandal with almost no supporters in the Legislature. But Mr. Paterson is still the governor until the end of December (presumably), with many of the powers that come with that office, be it the suspension of construction contracts, vetoing legislation or selecting a bidder to build a racino at the Aqueduct racetrack.

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Heir to developer Sheldon Solow

Judging by a New York Times profile several years ago, Mr. Solow, 35, may not yet be entirely comfortable stepping into his father’s formidable shoes. But when your father is Sheldon Solow (No. 53 on our list last year), and he’s named you as his “heir apparent,” what do you expect? Indeed, Mr. Solow will be the likely arbiter of his father’s massive, 6.1 million–square–foot development near the East River—not to mention 9 West 57th Street.

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Managing principal of Westbrook Partners

As head of the private-equity fund Westbrook Partners, Mr. Banyasz swooped in at the top of the market to buy big-deal properties like the Burberry Building, the Paramount Hotel and 235 West 75th. Now that the bubble has burst, he has set his sights across the pond. Earlier this month, it was announced that Westbrook Partners had invested in a joint venture with an Irish investment group to develop a 435-bed student housing facility in North London.

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President of Extell Development

To say nothing else of Mr. Barnett, he has stayed active in the downturn. One of the city’s most prolific developers, he is working on foundations for two midtown towers (sans full financing, for now) and is bringing plans for a giant, mixed-use development on the West Side through the public-approval process this year.

Michael Nagle


President of George Comfort & Sons

Mr. Duncan, as president of the family-owned firm, shepherded the purchase—alongside a number of partners—of Worldwide Plaza, the last of the Macklowe detritus. He did so in the middle of the recession for a bargain-basement $590 million, thus conferring a certain patina and added prestige to the company name.

New York police commissioner

Under the watchful eyes of Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Mr. Kelly, New York has enjoyed record lows in crime, both nonviolent and otherwise. For this, property values have remained relatively steady even in the face of a global recession. But with the downturn and a recent uptick in crime, will the commish be able to sustain the goodwill of property owners? Only time—and, as in the case of the would-be Times Square bomber, a little luck—will tell.

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Staff writer for The New York Times

In a world of blogs, sometimes it takes the most influential news organization to call the end of an era. Mr. Bagli (an Observer alumnus!) did just that in October 2008, in a story titled “Failed Deals Replace Boom in New York Real Estate.” Since then, he’s documented every major development, successful or struggling, from Stuy Town to N.Y.U. to Atlantic Yards.


Chairman-CEO of Tishman Construction

Amid much controversy and more PATH rail lines, the family development concern is trucking away at One World Trade Center. With the 700,000-square-foot underground foundation structure completed, Mr. Tishman’s firm expects to finish the erstwhile Freedom Tower in 2013. The company is also involved in a slew of big-box hotels through its subsidiary, the Tishman Hotel Corporation.

Chairman and CEO/President, respectively, of Prudential Douglas Elliman

Talk about Iron Man. Emperor and Empress by default, the duo steering the city’s largest residential brokerage continue to flex their iron despite the downturn; they’ve opened new offices, inaugurated a rental division and pirated talent from recession-failed rivals, bringing the monolith’s current agent count to 3,800, a 15 percent increase from two years ago.

Chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Transit advocates like to refer to the M.T.A. as the lifeblood of the city. New York owes its density to the transit system, and worsening service would turn away business. Particularly as giant budget gaps loom, Mr. Walder’s challenge is to find savings (or more revenue) and keep the trains running.


Chairman-CEO and president, respectfully, of Eastern Consolidated.

The best dressed of the brokerage community (and married to boot!), Mr. Hauspurg and Ms. Paris (pictured) run a boutique investment-sales firm that specializes in off-market deals. It has pulled through the worst real estate recession in recent history swimmingly.

CEO-president of the Corcoran Group

“New York has had a very good rebound,” Ms. Liebman said recently, and Corcoran’s hasn’t been bad, either. A year ago, the firm was fighting shutter rumors, now the city’s second-largest residential brokerage is back to fiercely competing with Goliath archrival Elliman by adding agents and aggressively launching the first house-hunting iPhone app.

James Hamilton

Principals of Crown Acquisitions. Pictured: Stanley

Judging by recent deals, the Cheras seem to take just as much delight in mining underdeveloped gems as they do in scooping up valuable retail. With the Carlyle Group, Crown last month leased 90,000 square feet to clothing retailer Uniqlo at 666 Fifth Avenue for an unprecedented $300 million over 15 years. Meanwhile, the group announced last week that it was setting its sights on Brooklyn’s Fulton Mall, where they intend to convert a former department store into student housing for Long Island University.

Pearl Green


Chairman of the Real Estate Department at Fried Frank; member of the Real Estate Department.

If anyone buys or sells a building in New York, or signs a big lease in one, Messrs. Mechanic (pictured) and Lefkowitz are bound to have a hand in the deal. They are two of the most successful—and discreet—real estate attorneys in the industry.

CEO-chairman of New York Community Bancorp

If you’re seeking signs of a sagging economy, don’t bother looking to Mr. Ficalora, whose bank raised more than $1 billion in new capital last year and rose to become the country’s 22nd largest, asset-wise. Meanwhile, the Westbury-based bank has been aggressively expanding its reach (six new branches in Arizona in March, to give one example) and gobbling up failing regional banks in Phoenix, Cleveland and back home in New York State.

Chairman and CEO, respectively, of Massey Knakal

The founding partners of New York’s busiest investment-sales firm do different things within it—Mr. Massey (R) runs the day-to-day operation, Mr. Knakal (L) remains an inveterate salesman—but they have both helped it enjoy a plush run through an investment desert. In January, The Real Deal pronounced Massey Knakal the top New York firm in number of sales from 2007 through the third quarter of 2009; and tied for fifth in sales volume over that span. Bring it.


Founder and president of Wharton Acquisitions Corp.

Mr. Sutton is a creative real estate player of the old school, with a keen eye for acquisitions and retail and more than 100 properties to his name, including 717 and 609 Fifth Avenue. His tenant roster reads like a who’s who of Big Retail: from American Eagle and Abercrombie and Fitch to Armani and Escada.

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Chairman of the New York office of Greenberg Traurig

Calling Mr. Ivanhoe a real estate lawyer is like calling the pope a Catholic. Mr. Ivanhoe is arguably New York’s preeminent real estate lawyer, with a client list that’s pretty much a shorter version of this one. Piloting deals from Tishman Speyer’s acquisition of Stuy Town to El-Ad’s purchase of the Plaza, his firm is involved in about one-third of the city’s commercial deals.

Deputy mayor for economic development and president of the New York Economic Development Corp., respectively

Mr. Lieber (L) and Mr. Pinsky (R) lead economic development policy for the Bloomberg administration, pouring money at big-ticket projects like Coney Island and Willets Point, along with new waterfront parks. The two recently were mediators in a yearlong clash over financing towers at the World Trade Center, eventually brokering a plan to give rise to two new office towers.


Owner of Arcadia Group Ltd.

Sir Philip staged a British invasion of Soho with the opening last year of the Topshop flagship store at 480 Broadway. With a little help from Kate Moss and in-store roller-skating parties, he has established the clothing retailer in the city, and is reportedly eyeing more local sites.

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Partners in Fisher Brothers. Pictured: Winston

With their family business, which has “enjoyed nearly a century of uninterrupted growth” (according to their Web site), the Brothers Grimm of hefty midtown real estate are staying the course with their sky-happy empire, which counts a bevy of buildings with square footage over the 1 million mark, including Park Avenue Plaza, 605 Third Avenue, 1345 Avenue of the Americas and 299 Park Avenue.

Roman Catholic archbishop of New York

It’s a thankless task sometimes. Not only is he surrounded by the capital of secularism, but Timothy Dolan, archbishop since early 2009, faces the same financial problems as his predecessor, Edward Egan, who made this list in 2008. These problems might very well mean another round of parish closings. Take heart, though, Excellency. The archdiocese, which includes Manhattan, Staten Island and the Bronx, remains—for now—one of the city’s biggest landlords.

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President of SEIU 32BJ

Mr. Fishman picked well in the fall elections. In addition to the mayor, his union supported the eventual winners of the comptroller and public-advocate races, along with six new members of the City Council. Now he will be calling on his new friends in government for support, as he pushes a bill opposed by landlords that would raise the wages of building service workers in subsidized developments.

President and executive vice president, respectively, of New York University

Messrs. Sexton (pictured) and Alfano’s recent revealing of the university’s expansion plans only added to Village residents’ resentment of what they view as the school’s colonization of their neighborhood. The 2031 expansion plan, which includes suburban “superblocks” in the Washington Square Park area and a satellite campus on Governors Island, hinges on adding 240,000 square feet of development per year.

Joe Fornabai

Rector of Trinity Church

Along with the recently resigned Carl Weisbrod, Mr. Cooper has repositioned Trinity’s 6 million square feet of loft-heavy old industrial buildings in Hudson Square, bounded by the Avenue of the Americas and Greenwich, Houston and Canal streets, into appealing office space for creative tenants. In so doing, he helped transform Trinity Church into a landlord for the likes of Penguin Putnam, WNYC, Lauder and Getty Images.


President of Halstead Property

The former broker, who began her career almost 40 years ago in Palm Beach, is optimistic about the future of her semi-boutique brokerage (it’s owned, along with BHS, by Terra Holdings), and from the looks of things, she has reason to be. Recruiting about two dozen agents from the carnage of CBHK, the Halstead honcho recently said that her company’s seeing more and more transactions over the $10 million mark.

Shana Witt

Principal of RFR Realty

The suave Mr. Rosen is an art buff—his modernist Seagram Building and landmarked Lever House, which hosts an art gallery, could be thought of as part of the hobby, in fact. His RFR Realty is shopping around leases at a slew of some of the city’s most coveted and high-end properties on the gilded Park, Madison and Fifth avenues.

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Founder and vice president, respectively, of Two Trees Management. Pictured: David (L) and Jed (R)

The tumbleweed-tossing John Wayne who decided Dumbo was dandy is still in the saddle. With the most expensive condo sale in Brooklyn ($8.5 million at One Brooklyn Bridge Park); Jay-Z and Ralph Lauren rumored as house hunters at the moguls’ $25 million penthouse clock tower listing—by far the borough’s priciest—and last year’s legal victory regarding the controversial Dock Street construction, the wily Walentases seem primed to ride out the storm.


President of Brown Harris Stevens

The boutique-style firm crafts a carefully honed reputation for discretion and class, garnering some of the glossiest, most privacy-demanding and largest listings, from Gold Coast co-ops to Georgian bow-front townhouses. The firm continues to add brokers, supplementing last year’s assumption of Edward Lee Cave’s boutique. Mr. Willkie recently confessed, “I’m elated because a year ago I never thought we could come to this level so quickly.”

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Brown Harris Steven

President of the Rent Stabilization Association of New York

In 2008, the Democrats recaptured the State Senate after decades in the minority. City landlords burst into sweat beads. Would tenant activists finally get the decidedly landlord-unfriendly changes to city rent regulations that they’d fought for forever? Mr. Strasburg sprung into action. As the landlords’ top representative in Albany, he pushed back against the activists. For now, it looks like he won; regulation changes are dead in the political water.

President of the Hotel & Motel Trades Council

In the past few years, Mr. Ward has built up a political powerhouse of a union. With his political director, Neal Kwatra, he has spearheaded numerous actions that bring down barriers to the unionization of hotels, most recently through a clause added to public authorities legislation that passed last year.


U.S. Activities Head for the Sorgente Group

Don’t let her emerald-green eyes or her age fool you. At 31, Ms. Mainetti has enough real estate savvy to fill the shoes of dozens of her aging male competitors. Her seven-unit Soho condo 34 Greene Street is now on the market, and Sorgente acquired the Flatiron Building last year. Plus! Rumors are afoot that the group’s out to buy the Woolworth Building, too.

President and CEO of Meridian Capital Group

Commercial mortgage brokers are heavyweights during downturns—and especially as those downturns, well, turn. Mr. Herzka sits atop one of the most important such brokerages in New York, well-positioned to capitalize on the recovery.

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Owner, chairman and CEO of IDB Group

The investment magnate blew into town from Ben Gurion last October in a big, big way: His firm agreed to buy the HSBC tower at 452 Fifth Avenue for $330 million—cash. It’s very likely Mr. Dankner’s first major foray into New York real estate, though likely not the last. With a corporate CV too long to list here, he has mammoth capital—and access to more—to sink into similarly 2007-like deals.


Vice chairman of Prudential Douglas Elliman

Ms. Lenz’s winning Elliman’s top sales award is about as surprising as Tiki Barber’s cheating: It’s getting to be a bore. But the super-agent, who claims, “It’s not work; it’s a passion,” has sold more than $7 billion in New York real estate, and there’s nothing boring about that. With her sales coup at the Apthorp (she had to find 25 buyers in a pinch) and continued boldface listings, no one is saying “Goodbye, Dolly” just yet.

James Hamilton

President of Columbia University

Affectionately called “Prezbo” by students, Mr. Bollinger has a full schedule. On June 1, the Court of Appeals will make a decision on the use of eminent domain for Columbia’s 17-acre West Harlem expansion; and, this fall, the controversial Rafael Moneo–designed science center, which incidentally cost lots of moneo ($200 million), is slated to open—oh, but first, there’s graduation!

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Senior vice president and managing director at Brown Harris Stevens

Forget Ghostbusters. John Burger is the one to watch out for on Central Park West, with current listings (all over $10 million) at the San Remo, Dakota and Majestic, including Conan O’Brien’s $29.5 million duplex. Reliably offering “no comment” to the press, the BHS powerhouse has made a name for himself in discretion, which might explain his recent $22 million sale with Jamie Tisch at 720 Park and the 778 Park Avenue Buckley listing he shares with Paula Del Nunzio (No. 99).

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Commissioner of the Department of Buildings

The city’s construction site chaperone currently faces the challenge of making his more-than-1,200-strong regulatory force more efficient in an environment offering curbed spending. In the past year, Mr. LiMandri has shown he means business with bold (and possibly PR-motivated) moves, such as bringing the whip down on divisive Brooklyn architect Robert Scarano and, most recently, demanding that Shepherd Fairey’s apparently illegal mural on Houston Street be destroyed.

Publisher of Curbed Network

According to a recent deifying profile in The Times Magazine, Curbed postings cover “anything a New Yorker might do with square footage, a lease and a dream.” It sounds like the premise of a Frank Capra film. And yet the “Curbediverse” is a bit of an optimist anomaly, with voyeurs and vendors coexisting in the darkest downturns. In fact, the digital conglomerate, which also includes Racked and Eater, began making a profit mid-2009.

Principal of Young Woo & Associates

Hailed as the new nice guy in town, the developer’s bold aspirations for AIG’s 70 Pine Street and 72 Wall Street, which he acquired for a cool $150 million combined last summer (he plans to sell condos in 70 Pine for $2,000 per square foot), make him the new go-to guy as well. Mr. Woo’s firm also won the development rights to Pier 57, and he already owns the Chelsea Arts Tower and the automobile-elevatored 200 11th Avenue.

Stephanie Saue


Transportation commissioner

Not only does Ms. Sadik-Khan manage the city’s 4,000 DOT workers, 5,800 miles of streets and sidewalks, 789 bridges and 1.3 million street signs, but she has been one of Mayor Bloomberg’s most innovative and sometimes controversial deputies, building miles of bike lanes and transforming Broadway in Times Square into a pedestrian plaza, with plans to do the same at Union Square and on 34th Street.

Executive vice president and director of Stribling Private Brokerage

Mr. Henckels takes tea at the Carlyle, neatly bespectacled and always bow-tied. It is no accident that the elegant, Texas-bred former banker began his tenure in the business at Edward Lee Cave’s aristocratic boutique. The plume in Stribling’s cap, Mr. Henckels seemed a natural choice for the famed 778 Park Avenue duplex—a choice Mrs. Astor certainly would not regret.

Joe Fornabaio

Principals of Stonehenge Partners

As owners of Stonehenge, Mr. Seiden and his Israeli-born partner, Mr. Yardeni, have acquired upward of 15 properties in New York. The power duo owns and manages assets valued in excess of $700 million, and with a portfolio that has included the Pennmark, it’s easy to see why. Purchased at the top of the market, the 33-story, 600,000-square-foot space cost Mr. Seiden and Mr. Yardeni a reported $244 million, among the highest prices paid for property in 2005.

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CEO of Colliers International Tri-State Division

When it was announced in January that First Service Real Estate Advisors would merge with Colliers International, thus creating what could be the world’s third-largest commercial firm, nobody was happier than Mr. Jaccom, the newly named chief executive of Colliers International’s tristate hub.

Shravan Vidyarthi

Senior vice president and managing director at Brown Harris Stevens

Ms. Del Nunzio, townhouse Hercules, with the $50 million Duke-Semans Mansion on the docket and the record-setting Harkness Mansion under her belt, is taking the torch as genteel but power-savvy dame du jour. Her current listings total more than $241 million combined, and there are only 17 of them! She also shares the newly launched Buckley listing at 778 Park with John Burger (No. 91).

Managing partner of the Clarett Group

As any real estate honcho will advise, there’s no surer way of sending a message than by building the tallest tower. For Clarett, that superlative became a reality last year, when the company completed the Brooklyner, a 51-story residential tower in downtown Brooklyn that now bests the borough’s former tallest by two feet. And business, reportedly, has been brisk, even with studios starting at $1,550.

James Hamilton

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