UPDATED, May 23, 9:15 p.m.: Donald Trump romped to victory Tuesday in the Republican primary in New York, and in a big departure from some previous speeches, he kept this one clean. The gloating was down to a minimum, he dropped the “Lyin’ Ted” moniker in favor of “Senator Cruz,” and he even remembered to thank his friends — many of them players in New York real estate.
“We have some of our great businessmen of the world,” Trump said, and then proceeded to name Howard Lorber and Bennett Lebow, respectively the CEO and chair of Vector Group, the parent company of Douglas Elliman. But he saved his biggest plaudits for the “great Steve Roth,” the tough-talking CEO of Vornado Realty Trust who is partners with Trump on 1290 Avenue of the Americas and an office complex in San Francisco.
“Steve’s building a big building on Central Park South,” Trump said, referring to 220 Central Park South, which Vornado has said it is spending an extraordinary $5,000 per square foot to build. “It’s a tremendous success. I said ‘Steve, congratulations on the building. He said: ‘Donald, it’s nothing compared to what’s happening with you.” He then pointed to Roth and said: “My man.”
Howard Lorber once told The Real Deal that Donald Trump was his hero “because of everything he’s accomplished. Lorber recently told CNBC it was obvious that Trump was a good businessman, and a quality of being a good president was having smart people surround you — something Trump already has.
A number of other New York real estate players, however, have made their political preferences perfectly clear. Arthur Zeckendorf, Elie Hirschfeld, and Town Residential CEO Andrew Heiberger are among the handful of industry notables to give Trump the thumbs up. But others, like Warburg’s Frederick Peters and Hudson Companies’ David Kramer, have been outspoken in their disapproval of Trump’s campaign.
This story was updated to clarify Lorber’s comments on Donald Trump.