Harry B. Macklowe

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Harry B. Macklowe
Born1937 (age 80–81)
NationalityUnited States
OccupationReal estate investor
Known forFounder of Macklowe Properties
Net worth$2.0 billion (2007)[1]
Spouse(s)Linda Burg
ChildrenWilliam S. Macklowe
Elizabeth Macklowe

Harry B. Macklowe (born 1937) is a New York City real estate developer and investor.

Early life[edit]

Macklowe was born to a Jewish family,[2] the son of a garment executive from Westchester County, New York. He graduated from New Rochelle High School in 1955, and attended the University of Alabama, New York University and the School of Visual Arts before dropping out and becoming a real estate broker in 1960.[3]


Macklowe quickly transitioned from broker to builder. Keenly interested in architecture and modern art, he soon became known for developing sleek modernistic buildings like the Metropolitan Tower and for his starkly white minimalist offices.[3] His firm, Macklowe Properties, owns or has owned a number of New York landmarks including 400 Madison Avenue, 540 Madison Avenue, the historic Drake Hotel (which he demolished to make way for 432 Park Avenue) and Two Grand Central Tower.[4] In 1985, Macklowe was fined $2 million for ordering the late-night demolition, without a permit, of four buildings, including a welfare hotel, in Times Square.[5][6] In 2003, he made his mark by purchasing the General Motors Building for a record price of $1.4 billion. The value of the skyscraper soon doubled, thanks in part to his persuading Apple to build a subterranean Apple retail store beneath the building's plaza, an idea he personally and successfully pitched to Steve Jobs. Jobs then proposed that the entrance to the sunken store be a 32-foot all-glass cube, which the city approved and was opened to the public in 2006.[6][7]

In February 2007, during the peak of the real estate market, Macklowe purchased seven Manhattan skyscrapers for $6.8 billion from the Blackstone Group. He used $50 million of his own money and financed the rest with $7 billion in short-term loans (due in February 2008) from Deutsche Bank and the publicly traded hedge fund the Fortress Investment Group.[6] In early 2008, he failed to refinance a $5.8 billion loan from Deutsche Bank[8] and lost all seven buildings.[9] Among the buildings forfeited were the General Motors Building (which collateralized the loan) and the Credit Lyonnais Building.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Macklowe has been married to Linda Burg for 59 years. He is seeking a divorce in order to marry his girlfriend, Patricia Landeau, and has offered his wife a settlement of half his fortune, $1 billion. Burg has not yet accepted the offer.[11][12]

The Macklowes have two children: William S. Macklowe and Elizabeth Macklowe.[13] William replaced his father as President of Macklowe Properties in 2008.[14] He and his wife belong to the Jewish Center of the Hamptons synagogue.[15] In 1993, William married and divorced the American fashion designer Tory Burch.[16] In 2004, William married Julie Lerner in a Jewish ceremony at the Metropolitan Club in New York City.[17] Elizabeth was married to and divorced from Kent Swig, son of fellow real estate developer Melvin Swig.[18]


  1. ^ Forbes: The World's Billionaires - #239 Harry Macklowe 2007
  2. ^ New York Observer: "‘Old Jew’ Harry Macklowe Tells a Joke (Updated)" by Dana Rubinstein July 14, 2009
  3. ^ a b New York Times: "Man With Past Speculates on Future; Without Renters in Place, Macklowe Plans a Manhattan Office Tower" By CHARLES V. BAGLI March 11, 1998
  4. ^ Macklowe Properties Website
  5. ^ Martin Gottlieb (January 10, 1985). "Nighttime Demolition Leaves a 44th St. Mystery". New York Times. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  6. ^ a b c CNN Money: "Reckoning for a real estate mogul" By Devin Leonard February 15, 2008
  7. ^ "Interview with Steve Jobs on the opening of the Fifth Avenue Apple store". YouTube.com. CNBC. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  8. ^ New York Times: "Harry Macklowe’s $6.4 Billion Bill" By CHARLES V. BAGLI and TERRY PRISTIN January 6, 2008
  9. ^ Wall Street Journal: "Real-Estate Credit Crisis Squeezes Macklowe" by Jennifer S. Forsyth February 1, 2008
  10. ^ New York Observer: "Two Macklowe Towers Sell for Just Under $1 B.; Another To Go for $1.45 B" by Dana Rubinstein June 10, 2008
  11. ^ New York Post: "Real estate mogul ditches 57-year marriage out of nowhere" May 31, 2016
  12. ^ Marsh, Julia (April 6, 2017). "Billionaire launches into stand-up comedy routine after offering wife half his fortune to go away". News.com.au. New York Post. Retrieved April 6, 2017.
  13. ^ New York Times: "Paid Notice: Deaths BURG, LILLIAN" September 18, 2003
  14. ^ New York Times: "Shift in Family Management at a New York Developer" By TERRY PRISTIN June 13, 2008
  15. ^ Jewish Center of the Hamptons Bulletin Archived 2016-01-30 at the Wayback Machine. August 2012
  16. ^ New York Times: "ENGAGEMENTS; Tory Robinson, W. S. Macklowe January 31, 1993
  17. ^ New York Times Weddings & Celebrations: Julie Lerner, William Macklowe November 21, 2004
  18. ^ New York Daily News: "New York real estate titans' family feud: Kent Swig claims father-in-law Harry Macklowe forged signature on $270,000 worth of insurance checks" By Dareh Gregorian March 14, 2013