This list in 2009 and 2010 reflected a recessionary New York, one thoroughly upended by economic maelstroms like high unemployment and the odd major bank collapse. No one had need of more office space; no one had financing for investments; no one had much to do save get on the blower and commiserate, or, on the odd workday, try to set up sit-downs or walk-throughs. The president of the United States was No. 1 in 2009, because everyone looked to the government for help. Toss me some TALF!
Then, inevitably, as these things seem to go in New York and not in places like Vegas or Mobile, a thaw began. The first inklings came amid the end of landlord concessions, whether for office tenants or those in apartments. Then, round about the summer of 2010, the news of major leases trickled out—foremost, perhaps, that of Si Newhouse (No. 51) intending to park his Condé Nast publishing engine in 1 World Trade, where the development has been organized by the Port Authority, led by Chris Ward (No. 70), and where Douglas and Jody Durst (No. 1) have the big private stake. (And simply that there is a 1 World Trade, more than halfway to its 1,776 feet now, is itself a sign of recovery.)
Then, the statistics across the board began to validate the gratingly chipper chatter as office leasing and investment sales picked up, and the housing market steered well clear of an assumed double dip. Suddenly, by the close of 2010, it wasn’t all so much bullshit; the recovery was happening. The list now is meant to reflect that. Three big things about it: Not since our inaugural Power 100 in 2008 has the upper echelon been so dominated by the familiar moguls, but not all are patronymically so. There’s a rustling at the top.
There are the Durst cousins, yes, and Anthony Malkin (No. 12), Donald Trump (No. 14), the Speyers (No. 15) and Richard LeFrak (No. 20)—and, for that matter, Andrew Cuomo (No. 2)—but also the boot-strappy likes of Mort Zuckerman (No. 5) and Andrew Farkas (No. 11), and our very own Richest Guy in Town, Michael Bloomberg (No. 7). We also have relative newcomers, like the benignly voracious Gary Barnett (No. 6); the seemingly ruthless Mikhail Prokhorov (No. 24); and the oddly familiar Scott Rechler (No. 19), back in Manhattan in a big way.
Check out #11 on the Observer slideshow to see Andrew Farkas.
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