The Real Deal New York

Ross tops NYC developers on Forbes 400, with the Donald about $2B behind

LeFrak, Stern, Speyer among city's real estate players on annual rich list

September 29, 2015 01:15PM

Forbes 400

From left: Donald Trump, Stephen Ross and Richard LeFrak

Forbes released its 34th annual Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans on Tuesday, and it features its fair share of major real estate players – including one famously coiffed developer who happens to be running for president.

While Bill Gates retains the top spot on the list for the 22nd straight year with a net worth of $76 billion, the real estate industry is well represented on the list. Donald Bren, chair of Southern California-based Irvine Company, is tops among developers with a net worth of $15.2 billion – good enough for 30th in the rankings.

Related Cos. founder Stephen Ross is second among real estate players — and the highest-ranked New York-based developer — with a net worth of $6.7 billion that places him 71st on the list.

Other New York developers making the rankings include LeFrak founder Richard LeFrak (76th, $6.1 billion), Hartz Group chair and CEO Leonard Stern (114th, $4.7 billion), Tishman Speyer founder Jerry Speyer (124th, $4.4 billion), Sheldon Solow (145th, $3.9 billion) and Wharton Properties founder Jeff Sutton (182th, $3.4 billion).

But there is perhaps no higher-profile figure – developer or otherwise – on the list than Donald Trump, whose $4.5 billion fortune has him ranked 121st. The Trump Organization mogul and GOP presidential hopeful’s net worth has been a hot topic during his run for the White House, and Forbes has devoted a 15-page cover story in latest issue — titled “What’s Donald Trump Really Worth?” – to that very subject. The Real Deal analyzed the Donald’s assets in detail in June of 2013. Experts estimated a total net worth of roughly $8 billion.

Trump declared a net worth exceeding $10 billion on financial disclosure forms required for his presidential campaign, though a Bloomberg analysis in July pegged that number at under $3 billion, with the majority of that fortune derived from real estate holdings.

But as Forbes quotes the Donald himself saying, “I look better if I’m worth $10 billion than $4 billion.” [Forbes]Rey Mashayekhi