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Sheldon Solow's Son Announces New Firm With Major Hires

Stefan Soloviev, the son of Sheldon Solow and chairman of Soloviev Group

Stefan Soloviev, the son of late billionaire real estate developer Sheldon Solow, has announced the formation of his own eponymous real estate company.

In a release, Solow Building Co. said that Soloviev, who uses his family’s pre-Ellis Island name, would be the chairman of the Soloviev Group, which will feature realty and development divisions, as well as hospitality, transportation and railroad, agriculture and ranching divisions.

Soloviev’s son, Hayden, is being appointed as vice chairman of the company, while Michael Hershman, now CEO of the Fairfax Group, is assuming the role of CEO. William Potts, most recently vice chairman of capital construction at L&L Holding Co., is joining the firm as chief operating officer, having previously worked as director of property management at Solow Building Co. in the mid-2000s.

“As we continue to diversify our business interests into other arenas, including agriculture, ranching and logistics, the firm is uniquely positioned to experience unprecedented growth,” Soloviev said in a statement. “I look forward to leading this transformation.”

The company is one of the biggest landowners in the U.S., according to the release, and Soloviev had worked as an executive vice president at the firm. He also founded Crossroads Agriculture, a farming and ranching operation with a presence in Colorado, Kansas and New Mexico.

Sheldon Solow, who formed the company in 1995, died last November from lymphoma at age 92. His net worth was pegged at $4.4B, per Forbes, and he had amassed approximately 3.8M SF in real estate over his 50-year career.

The developer's best-known property is at 9 West 57th St. — known as the Solow Building — which he built in the early 1970s. The building’s tenants include private equity companies Apollo Global Management and KKR. He also developed an apartment tower at 685 First Ave. 

He had plans to complete a $4B project on a 9.2-acre site south of the United Nations headquarters that would bring seven towers and public space, but it remained unfinished at the time of his death, per The New York Times. 

The future of the Solow Building Co. was not immediately clear at the time of Solow’s passing. However, in a joint interview with the newspaper in 2018, Soloviev said that he was “taking over the business” though he was in no rush to assume a leadership role.

Though the father and son had shared a reportedly fractious relationship, he told the publication in the interview that “right now I work with my father. And I don’t think we’ve ever worked as well together as we are right now.” He also expressed a desire to build beyond New York City.

“My father is very stuck in his ways,” he told the Times. “He has his area, and that’s it. But I would like to build in other cities, like out West, which I know very well because I’ve spent a lot of my life there.”