Principal, Chetrit Group
Manhattan is a place where real estate rivals Wall Street as the borough’s most politically influential industry and top developers make headlines for deals that can exceed a billion dollars.
Joseph Chetrit, principal at the Chetrit Group, is in the top echelon of real estate executives in the city, but, unlike many of his peers, he has avoided the spotlight. He has been described as “extraordinarily private” and “the most mysterious big shot in New York real estate.”
It’s not for lack of a track record, including acquisitions of the Sony Building, the iconic Chelsea Hotel and the Hotel Carter in Times Square. While he flies under the radar, he has a reputation for outflanking competitors and turning a profit on redeveloped properties.
Helena Rose Durst
Chief Administrative Officer, The Durst Organization
Helena Rose Durst grew up in one of New York City’s most powerful and well-known real estate families. Durst, along with other fourth-generation family members, are now sharing many of the responsibilities of running the company.
While The Durst Organization has been around for more than 100 years, she has worked on and pursued innovative new strategies. She spearheaded efforts to make operations more environmentally friendly, including introducing comprehensive recycling programs. She’s been actively involved in the family’s upstate organic farm. And she ran New York Water Taxi, which was run by the family-owned real estate company, until its recent sale to Circle Line.
Of course, at the end of day, she’s a real estate executive, handling such high-profile projects as One Bryant Park.
CEO, SL Green Realty Corp.
The big name behind SL Green Realty Corp. is Stephen L. Green, who founded the company in 1980 and built into a juggernaut.
But the day-to-day management of New York City’s largest office landlord falls to Marc Holliday.
Holliday joined the company in 1998 as chief investment officer, and took the reins in 2004. Although SL Green’s reach extends beyond New York City, its biggest footprint is in midtown Manhattan.
Indeed, one of its marquee projects is One Vanderbilt, a 1,401-foot office tower that broke ground in October. The building was approved as part of an innovative model in which Holliday’s company agreed to invest $220 million into upgrades at Grand Central Terminal. Now, it’s expected to be an anchor for a broader Midtown East rezoning.
President, World Trade Center Properties
For many real estate developers, there’s a trusted executive behind the scenes who handles the nuts and bolts of the biggest projects.
For Larry Silverstein, that person is Janno Lieber.
As the president of World Trade Center Properties, a division of Silverstein Properties, Lieber oversees the company’s high-profile work at the World Trade Center site. He joined the firm in 2003 after a wide-ranging professional career, including stints in former Mayor Ed Koch's administration, at The New Republic magazine, at a law firm, at the U.S. Department of Transportation and working on public-private partnerships.
While some World Trade Center buildings – and the transit hub – are complete, Lieber is still working on others, including 3 World Trade Center, which is set to open next year.
Chairman and CEO, RXR Realty
Scott Rechler heads RXR Realty, a growing firm with a multibillion-dollar portfolio.
But that’s just his day job. Apart from his real estate work, he’s been actively engaged in the public and nonprofits sectors.
His most notable side gig was as vice chairman of the Port Authority, in which he played a key role on the World Trade Center redevelopment. Rechler, a Gov. Andrew Cuomo ally who left the authority last year, was one of the few leaders who came away from the Bridgegate scandal unscathed.
Rechler also chairs the Regional Plan Association and serves on a variety of boards, including the Real Estate Board of New York, the Tribeca Film Institute and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.