The Real Deal New York

City’s nine richest developers

January 22, 2014 03:55PM

From left: Richard LeFrak, Stephen Ross, Donald Trump and Jeff Sutton

From left: Richard LeFrak, Stephen Ross, Donald Trump and Jeff Sutton

The Big Apple has no shortage of wealthy developers, especially as the market booms amid rising prices and a number of massive new projects.

Forbes gathered a list of nine of the city’s top dogs on the development front, ranging in net worth from $1.3 billion to over $5 billion. The prominent group does not include some of the City’s real estate dynasties whose wealth is divided among family members. (For the lowdown on those dynasties, read TRD‘s ranking.)

Richard LeFrak, one of the region’s biggest landowners, topped the list with a net worth of $5.6 billion, according to Forbes. He counts the eponymous LeFrak City among his holdings — a complex with 5,000 units in Corona, Queens.

Related Companies’ Stephen Ross comes in second on the Forbes list, with a $4.8 billion net worth under his belt. Ross’ Hudson Yards project, a $20 billion neighborhood in progress on Manhattan’s far West Side, is arguably the most notable feather in his cap.

Trailing the top duo are Sheldon Solow with a net worth of $3.5 billion, tied with Jerry Speyer and Donald Trump, who hold the same net worth according to Forbes. Jeff Sutton came in sixth with a net worth of $2.7 billion, thanks to his hold on more than 120 properties — some of which command among the country’s highest rents, such as the $19 million generated annually by Prada on Fifth Avenue.

Boston Properties REIT cofounder Mort Zuckerman, with a net worth of $2.3 billion, came in seventh, followed by Dumbo frontman David Walentas with $1.4 billion and Leon Charney, who holds 1.2 million square feet of commercial space in Times Square, with $1.3 billion. [Forbes]Julie Strickland

  • Yahuda

    jeff sutton a billionarie who would of thought.

    • Jeff Sutton for President

      I am beginning to think he is paying the Real deal $2,876.84 PSW ( per square word) of press. We are talking record numbers over here……….

    • David

      You wish you had half his brains and balls.

  • Jake

    Everyone seems to forget that Donald Bren is worth more than all of those guys combined hahahaa. Ross and Trump can bow down to Bren.

  • Sol Goldman

    What about Sam Chang

    • nyc

      Sam chang over 550M and Ben Ashkenazy over 980M same for Witkoff. Don Peebles 600M. Sitt is not that high.

      • David

        Sitt = sketch scootch

  • Reid Heldberg

    Let’s face it, if it wasn’t for Real Deal no one would’ve ever heard of Jeff Sutton. I find it amazing that he is worth that much. I know he owns a ton of a retail, but I never thought he was worth more than $2B. Good for him.

    • David

      Sutton: (1) Smart, (2) Educated, (3) Tough, (4) incredible ability to see the future. Tough combo to beat.

      • The Force

        It seems as though he is a pupil of Yoda. Did Yoda not tell him , if its the future you can see, buy lottery tickets you shall?

  • Critic Of Nonsense

    Such nonsense, does anyone really care about who is the most wealthy. The fact is there are a number of extremely wealthy, much more than these guys, but you don’t hear about them bragging (i.e. Trump) because they prefer it that way.

  • RealGURU

    Trump just looks stupid amid all these great developers.

  • sam terzi

    what about bert dweck? he has to be on the list now.

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