Louise Sunshine, founder of the Sunshine Group, appeared on Michael Stoler’s “Building New York: New York Stories” on public access CUNY-TV to talk about her journey from politics to the heights of New York real estate.
Sunshine told her life story at length — from her family’s roots in Russia, to her grandfather Barney Pressman, who founded the Barney’s chain of department stores to, to her childhood in Morristown, N.J., to Brandeis University, and into New York politics.
She described an episode in the early 1970s in which she procured a “DJT” vanity license plate for Donald Trump. “After obtaining the plates for Donald, I become even more important in his eyes,” she told Stoler.
She worked with the developer well into the 1980s, becoming his most senior female executive.
Around that time, Sunshine founded what became her namesake new development marketing firm, with the help of partner Jerry Speyer. She ultimately sold the company to NRT, parent of the Corcoran Group, forming Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group.
Sunshine became a consultant thereafter, and has been doing it ever since. She enjoyed it, she told host and Madison Realty Capital managing director Michael Stoler, and had no interest in ever starting her own development business.
“There’s a lot of risk involved, and I’m not sure that I’m willing to take that much risk. I’m willing to take some risk, but those developers really take a lot of risk.”
Sunshine broke off her relationship with brokerage Compass late last month, telling The Real Deal, “I felt that my business practices and those of Compass were not aligned.”
A week later, she announced plans to support her former boss’s presidential campaign, forming an organization called Women for Trump in Florida. [“Building New York: New York Stories” via YouTube] – Ariel Stulberg