As the year draws to a close, it’s time to remember some of the titans and real estate icons who won’t be with us next time around.
This annual in memoriam is organized by date of death and includes links to obituaries published in The real deal.
David Barclay, juggernaut of the British hotel industry, died on January 13 from a short illness. He was 86 years old. Barclay and his twin, Frederick Barclay, own The Telegraph, The Ritz Hotel, and other real estate investments. Both started in the 1960s by converting old guesthouses into hotels and have gone on to dominate the industry.
Gene Martinez, sales manager and first recruit of Compass, died suddenly on January 19 of a stroke at age 60. Talent.
Ben Lambert, who brought Wall Street to real estate, died Jan. 30 at age 82. The founder of Eastdil had a fight with the unruly negotiating son-in-law who was commercial real estate before the 1970s. The art student turned fabric salesman turned investment banker is just one example. the many horizons from which new real estate owners have come.
Steven Goodstein, a developer largely responsible for building Battery Park City in the 1980s, died on February 13 of pneumonia in his South Florida home at the age of 81. Goodstein’s parents immigrated to the city from Poland and started a construction business that grew into a dynastic presence. in real estate in New York. Among the most notable developments during his tenure is the Fifth Avenue Tower near Bryant Park.
Arne Sorenson, CEO of Marriott International, died on February 15 of pancreatic cancer. He was 62 years old. Marriott executive chairman JW Marriott Jr. described Sorenson as “an exceptional executive, but more than that, he was an exceptional human being.” He was responsible for expanding the hotel chain, including its $ 13 million acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts.
Eugene H. Webbs, an industry leader who led the redevelopment of Harlem, died on April 7. He was 102 years old. In 1968, Webbs co-founded Webb & Brooker, the brokerage house that would become one of the upscale neighborhoods. Among the most important projects of the company was Renaissance Plaza. Debs also helped found Carver Federal Savings Bank, which remains one of the largest black-owned banks in the country.
Bill Lee, founder of commercial real estate giant Lee & Associates, died on April 5 at age 78 after a long battle with cancer. Lee founded his eponymous company, known for its unique profit-sharing model, in the late 1970s and made it the national company it is today.
Eli Broad, the billionaire developer, philanthropist and founder of KB Home, died on April 30 at the age of 87. Broad started the Detroit-focused homebuilding business that would become KB Home in the 1950s. The New York native went on to forge some of Southern California’s most famous developments, including the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti called Broad “the most influential private citizen of his generation”. Throughout his life, the developer has donated nearly a third of his $ 7 billion fortune to various causes.
Sol Arker, director of Arker Companies, died of cancer on May 17 at the age of 73. Vicki Been, Deputy Mayor of Housing and Economic Development for New York City, called Arker a “visionary leader and tireless advocate for affordable housing.” Arker founded his business with his father, Holocaust survivor Aron Arker, in 1949. The business now has more than 10,000 affordable units across the city.
Sylvia Deutsche, the first woman to head the New York City Planning Commission, died June 21 in Monroe Township, New Jersey. She was 96 years old. Deutsche played a pivotal role in reinventing Times Square as the world knows it today.
Ronald Goerler Sr., founder of Jamesport Vineyards and Crest / Good Manufacturing Company plumbing supplier, died on August 30 at the age of 95. Of the dozens of wineries along North Fork on Long Island, Jamesport Vineyards was the fifth.
Gene “Taxi King” Friedman, the Russian-born entrepreneur who became New York City’s most prolific taxi medallion holder before a dramatic fall, died of a heart attack on October 24. He was 50 years old. Freidman used part of his taxi fortune to build a large real estate portfolio.
Alexander Garvin, city planner and key figure in the reconstruction of Ground Zero, died on December 17. He was 80 years old. The Yale professor was a native New Yorker who was also responsible for the Atlanta belt line and the cultural changes it ushered in.
Richard Rogers, the visionary architect whose work shaped the cityscapes of Paris and London, died on December 18. He was 88 years old. His work has been described as a “unique interpretation of the modern movement’s fascination with the building as a machine”.
Donald Elliott, who chaired the Planning Commission from 1966 to 1973, died on December 23 at the age of 89. His legacy as a town planner includes the division of the city into community quarters to locate and promote civic engagement. Elliott has been described as “a realist who believed in the need to make the city more livable”.