Power 100 2023

It’s more difficult than ever to understand power in a post-COVID world

By May 16, 2023 7:00 AM
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We can’t all be Logan Roy.

While Logan’s power — stemming from the alliances, betrayals, and family psychodrama worthy of a series of sessions with Sigmund Freud — makes for great TV via HBO’s “Succession,” power means something different to most of the names on this year’s Power 100.

We imagine that many of these people are also aware of the sacrifices of power and its duller, less glamorous labor.

Last week, the proudest, richest and most consequential people on Power 100 no doubt felt a twinge of humility when the federal government officially ended COVID-19’s classification as a national emergency. The last three years was one long, arduous lesson in the simple truth that nature is the ultimate arbiter of power.

But it’s the ability to recognize where the trends are heading, to synthesize the available data and to prepare for the inevitable headwinds that steered the honorees that we chose onto this list and its most coveted positions.

A couple of months ago, as the Commercial Observer team began our first conversations about what you’re reading now, we asked our friends at CompStak for their list of the biggest office owners in New York, Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The names were largely familiar to our readers: Brookfield being the top owner in New York and Los Angeles; Paramount Group the top dog in San Francisco; Boston Properties the big cheese in its eponymous city.

All the names were worthy of a place of honor and all of them had great and valuable real estate, but one of the things that we tried to show in this year’s Power 100 was that a lot of categories that were previously so safe are less sound in a work-from-home world.

The people selected (and we included more new names than ever before) were not necessarily coming from the financial capital of the world (New York), and they were not building what had previously been such a venerated asset (office). We tried to make this a truly national list, and one that was spread across all of commercial real estate. It’s a difficult task that also involves not very glamorous labor, but it is the fullest landscape we could offer of commercial real estate’s power structure in 2023.

82 -14

Cedric Bobo

Project Destined

83 -7

Jay Sugarman

Safehold (iStar)

84 -5

James Nelson

Avison Young

85 +4

Gary LaBarbera

Greater New York and New York State Building and Construction Trades Council

86 -25
87 -3

James Whelan and Jed Walentas

Real Estate Board of New York

89 -7

Jeffrey Levine

Douglaston Development

91 -14

Shimon Shkury

Ariel Property Advisors

93 +4

Jonathan L. Mechanic and Melanie Meyers

Fried Frank’s Real Estate Department

94 -9

Leslie Wohlman Himmel and Stephen Meringoff

Himmel + Meringoff Properties


Onay Payne 

Lafayette Square

96 -1

Sonia Kaur Bain

Blank Rome LLP


David Adjaye

Adjaye Associates


Manny Pastreich

SEIU Local 32BJ



Roc Nation


Andy Florance