(New York, NY) — Crain’s has just released its list of the 50 most powerful women in the city. The surprise is that there are 5 real estate heavyweights on the list who appear alongside influential women in the retail business, and in the worlds of business, philanthropy and government. That there are so many women in real estate who made the cut is an inspiration for new and up-and-coming women who want to follow in her footsteps. Here are the 5 moguls who made it to the top: Mary Ann Tighe of CBRE, MaryAnne Gilmartin of Forest City New York, Pamela Liebman of the Corcoran Group, Dorothy Herman of Douglas Elliman Real Estate and Leslie Himmel of Himmel & Meringoff Properties. And here’s why they’re being celebrated.
Herman, the president and CEO of Douglas Elliman, ranks #36 and her 2016 revenue us worth $24.6 billion. Herman is responsible for Elliman’s expansion, opening 11 offices and hiring 1,000 agents on top of the 6,500 who are already employed. Elliman is now the fourth-largest real estate brokerage firm in the world. Herman, 64, is a board member of Katz Women’s Hospital of Northwell Health and Southampton Hospital.
MARY ANN TIGHE
Tighe, 68, is the chief executive, tristate region of CBRE. In 2015, she ranked #7 and this year she moves up to position #3. Tighe, who handled 3.5 million square feet worth of leases last year was recognized for her positions in organizations like the Inner-City Scholarship Fund and the Partnership for New York City.
Tinge singlehandedly reshaped parts of Manhattan. For example, she was the agent who worked with Conde Nast twice. She represented Conde Nast when it moved to Time Square in the 1990s, and her work was said to have helped revitalize midtown. In 2010, when Conde Nast moved out of Times Square, Tighe was enlisted again, this time representing the high-end glossy publisher in a landmark 1 million square foot lease at 1 World Trade Center. Like Times Square, it has been said she helped turn lower Manhattan into a destination spot for the creative arts and the media.
MaryAnne Gilmartin is president and CEO of Forest City New York and she’s only in her early fifties. She had a 2016 net operating income of $230 million. She was the face behind Pacific Park, a 22-acre mixed use development that, for many years, has been delayed for various reasons before Gilmartin spearheaded its completion. She’s about to face the biggest challenge so far: reimagining Rikers Island. At the Real Estate Board of New York’s annual gala, Gilmartin spoke about women whose talents and ambitions have been overlooked and are underrated in her predominately male industry.
Pamela Liebman, the influential president and CEO of the Corcoran Group, has 1500 brokers in both Manhattan and Brooklyn under her belt. She just added 500 more. As many brokers would say, a sale is a sale, and Corcoran is attuned with that, having sold everything from a 700 square feet studio to a penthouse with a rooftop pool at a luxury high rise condo while keeping their elite status. Liebman has been at Corcoran for 17 years and despite the market being soft for expensive co-ops and condos, the firm seems immune to that under Leibman’s wings, having sold an UES townhouse for nearly 80 million and a Brooklyn condo for $15 million. This year, she ranks #32, up from last year’s #35.
Last year Leslie Himmel, 63, didn’t make the cut, but she’s now in the 47th position on Crain’s. The co-managing partner at Himmel & Meringoff Properties and a member of the Real Estate Board of New York, Himmel is known for her vision and foresight in purchasing or investing in mostly commercial buildings. Along with business partner Stephen Meringoff, the two are a powerful force in the lucrative commercial real estate industry.
Himmel is at the top of her gain now, looking forward to the future by setting a goal of growing her firm’s holdings by $1 billion during the next five years. To support the project, Himmel will reinvest the more than $500 million she and Meringoff recently raised through refinancing current holdings. And just this month, Himmel bought a LIC warehouse for a cool $25 million that she envisions will become a place where tenants in tech, science and academia meet, as well as for all those who need to be by Cornell Tech’s Roosevelt Island campus, which is nearby. Himmel once said that her firm likes to purchase in emerging neighborhoods that they believe have potential and “upside.” Right now, she’s set tight on her tracks, making her goals a reality.