Real Estate Billionaires on Forbes’ List


While they may not be Nigerians or tenants at Extell Development’s One57 (a.k.a “future home of the big hitters”), these New York real estate billionaires have set themselves apart from the rest simply by making Forbes’ Richest People in America List.”

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Richard LeFrak (photo courtesy of

The honor of the richest real estate man–or men–in New York City goes to Richard LeFrak and Blackstone’s Stephen Schwarzman, both of whom were tied at number 63 on the Forbes 400. While Mr. Schwarzman largely owes his $5.2 billion fortune to private equity, the Blackstone Group has become a dominant force in the real estate world. This summer it announced it would be selling off most of its U.S. office portfolio, valued at $55 billion.

Mr. LeFrak and his family have LeFrak City, an apartment complex in Elmhurst, and a 16 million-plus square foot portfolio of commercial, retail, and residential properties in Newport, NJ. Mr. LeFrak has also extended his real estate reach in the past year by snapping up the Gansevoort hotel in Miami and buying properties in California, Oregon and Washington. His fortune is also valued at $5.2 billion

Rounding out the list: Stephen Ross of The Related Companies (and The Miami Dolphins) was ranked #83 with a fortune valued at $4.4 billionHartz Mountain Industries’ Leonard Stern, who owns more than 38 million square feet of commercial, retail and residential properties in New York and New Jersey, was #89 at $4.2 billion. 

Legendary (and litigious) landlord Sheldon Solow made it to #113 at $3.5 billion. 

Celebrity real estate mogul (and father-in-law to The Commercial Observer’s publisher Jared KushnerDonald Trump was #128 on the list with a fortune worth $3.1 billion. He also made it #14 on Forbes’ list of “Most Powerful Celebrities” earlier this year. John Catsimatidis of Gristedes fame (there’s a lot of money in the supermarket chain’s real estate) was #132 at $3 billion.

Tishman Speyer’s Jerry Speyer was tied with Mr. Catsimatidis at #132, and was also worth an estimated $3 billion.

Mort Zuckerman, of Boston Properties and The New York Daily News, was #190 at $2.4 billion. 

Times Square landlord Leon Charney was valued at $1.2 billion, good enough to get him to #360 on the Forbes list.

Finally, fertilizer and real estate billionaire Alexander Rovt made it to #388, amassing a modest $1.15 billion fortune.

Congratulations, gentlemen. Maybe next year you will have the bragging right of making another prestigious list.