Jerry Gottesman, who as co-founder and chairman of Edison Properties parlayed a single Newark parcel into a multibillion-dollar storage and property empire, died Sunday. He was 87.
Gottesman died of natural causes while visiting Israel, NJBIZ reported. He was worth over $550 million at the time of his death.
Edison Properties controls more than 3 million square feet of real estate in New York and New Jersey. A major benefactor of Jewish educational institutions, Gottesman “left a substantial part of his estate to charities,” an Edison spokesperson said.
“Edison Properties will continue to operate without interruption,” the spokesperson said. “Mr. Gottesman always conducted himself in an honorable way, and he will be greatly missed by his family, friends, associates and others who were fortunate enough to know him.”
Edison, which employs roughly 600 people, had previously established a succession plan and is run by its executive management team.
Gottesman started the Newark, New Jersey-based company with his late brother in the 1950s and grew it into a real estate empire that includes parking lots under the Edison ParkFast brand and self-storage warehouses under Manhattan Mini Storage. The company was one of the most steadfast practitioners of the “never sell,” philosophy – for five decades, it kept adding to its holdings.
That changed in 2015, when Edison sold a block-long development site along the High Line to Ziel Feldman’s HFZ Capital Group for $870 million, or north of $1,000 per buildable foot. At the time, sources suggested the megadeal may have been part of Edison’s planning for the next generation. Later that year, the company bought five Ring portfolio buildings from Extell Development in a deal worth over $250 million. [NJBIZ] – Rich Bockmann