In late April, the New York Observer’s real estate section, Commercial Observer released the Power 100, an annual list of prominent individuals making waves in the real estate industry.
At the top of the list is Gary Barnett, President of Extell Development which has a portfolio of over 20 million square feet, primarily in Manhattan. In the past year, Barnett has had numerous notable accomplishments including securing the first Nordstrom in New York City in a seven story building at 225 West 57th Street, and launching The Carlton House at 690 Madison Ave, featuring 68 condos, including a 10,000 square foot condo estimated to be worth $65 million. Number two goes to Stephen Ross, Jeff Blau, and Bruce Beal, Chairman and Founder, CEO, and President, respectively of real estate development and management firm Related. Related is well known for spearheading Hudson Yards—a comprehensive, 15 million square foot development in the previously untapped west 30s streets. Hudson Yards will feature over 14 acres of open space and parks, bars and restaurants, offices, stores, and apartments. Famous companies such as Coach, L’Oreal, and SAP have already signed leases for the area, paving the way for growth.
While Power 100 awardees are chosen by the staff of the Commercial Observer, the online magazine added a public poll for the first time this year, enabling readers to vote for their favorite real estate titans. At the top of the reader poll are Donald Trump and Andrew Farkas, number one and number two, respectively. Trump remains a real estate mogul despite his recent advances into the entertainment industry and politics. In the past year, Trump has reached 92 percent occupancy through new developments at his 40 Wall Street property, including a recent 25 year lease by a K-8 private school. He’s also continued his work developing a golf course at Ferry Point in the Bronx. Farkas, Chairman and CEO of leading real estate merchant bank Island Capital Group, manages over $180 billion in assets. Last year was a big year for Island Capital as it acquired NAI Global, giving the company access to over 300 commercial real estate firms, and 5,000 real estate professionals.
Every year since launching Power 100 in 2008, the Commercial Observer has hosted an annual gala to honor prominent New Yorkers and present the Power 100 with their awards. Notable past gala speakers include Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and New York Council Speaker Christine Quinn.