Harry B. Macklowe

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Harry B. Macklowe
Born 1937 (age 77–78)
Nationality United States
Ethnicity Jewish
Occupation Real estate investor
Known for Founder of Macklowe Properties
Net worth $2.0 billion (2007)[1]
Spouse(s) Linda Burg
Children William 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 a number of New York landmarks including 400 Madison Avenue, 540 Madison Avenue, the historic Drake Hotel (which he demolished to make way for the proposed 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]

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 putting an all-glass, sunken Apple store in the building's plaza; an idea he personally and successfully pitched to Steve Jobs.[5]

In February 2007, during the peak of the real estate market, Macklowe purchased seven Manhattan skyscrapers for $6.8 billion from the Blackstone Group. Macklowe used $50 million of his own money and financed the rest with $7 billion in short term loans (due February 2008) from Deutsche Bank and the publicly traded hedge fund the Fortress Investment Group.[5] In early 2008, Macklowe failed to refinance a $5.8 billion loan from Deutsche Bank.[6] and lost all seven buildings.[7] Among the buildings forfeited include the General Motors Building (which collateralized the loan) and the Credit Lyonnais Building.[8]

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Linda Burg. They have two children: William S. Macklowe and Elizabeth Macklowe.[9] William replaced his father as President of Macklowe Properties in 2008.[10] He and his wife belong to the Jewish Center of the Hamptons synagogue.[11] In 1993, his son William married and divorced the American fashion designer Tory Burch.[12] In 2004, William married Julie Lerner; Rabbi J. Rolando Matalon officiated the service at the Metropolitan Club in New York City.[13] His daughter Elizabeth was married to and divorced from Kent Swig, son of fellow real estate developer Melvin Swig.[14]