Jeff Sutton

Founder of Wharton Properties and one of the most prominent retail owners on Fifth Avenue.

Sutton was born in Gravesend, Brooklyn, to a Syrian Jewish family in 1960. His father was a retail importer, and Sutton attended the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He got his start in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Upper Manhattan renting spaces to retailers like Payless Shoes without holding the lease on the property. Instead, he would use the tenant’s rent to buy the space in question.

In the 1990s, Sutton began buying up property in Manhattan, targeting some of the most sought-after Fifth Avenue, Times Square and Soho addresses and bringing in some of the most well-known retailers to fill the spaces.

His Fifth Avenue properties by 2010 included tenants such as American Girl Place, American Eagle, Valentino, Cole Haan and Dolce & Gabbana.

According to Wharton’s website, Sutton has amassed a portfolio of some 120 properties, including 728 Fifth Avenue, 726 Fifth Avenue, 724 Fifth Avenue, eight properties on West 34th Street, four properties in Times Square and eight properties in Soho. In 2015, Sutton purchased the Crown Building at 730 Fifth for $1.78 billion, selling a large stake in it to Brookfield Properties four years later.