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Billionaire Developer Sheldon Solow Dies At 92

Solow Building at 9 West 57th St.

Billionaire developer Sheldon Solow died at 92 on Tuesday, a month after being diagnosed with lymphoma. 

Solow, known for his extensive portfolio of buildings and distinguished design, died at Weill Cornell Medical Center where he was being treated, Bloomberg first reported. 

The developer accumulated an estimated 3.8M SF in real estate over his five-decade career and Forbes puts his net worth at $4.4B. 

Solow was born in Brooklyn and enrolled in New York University in the 1950s but dropped out to pursue real estate. He founded the Solow Building Co. in 1995. 

He is best known for his skyscraper at 9 West 57th St. — dubbed the Solow Building — which he built in 1974. The building is now home to tenants such as private equity companies Apollo Global Management and KKR

Other notable properties include the luxury apartment tower at 685 First Ave. and his condominium tower One United Nations Park.

Solow was also known for taking companies and people — sometimes even his friends — to court. In 2013, he filed a $1B lawsuit against Citibank, Bank of America, JP Morgan and Credit Suisse for their alleged mishandling of the Libor rate that he said caused him to lose his bond portfolio, Forbes reported at the time. Last year, a federal appeals court dismissed his case, by which time had been whittled down to $100M. 

He also sued his tenants, such as the cosmetics company Avon, and fellow real estate developers in various disputes over the years, according to Bloomberg.

While it is unclear who will take over the developer’s portfolio, his son — Stefan Soloviev, 44 — had been working beside his father before Solow's death. Solow referred to Soloviev as the “heir apparent” to the Solow real estate empire in 2007. 

“I’m taking over the business. I get that,” Soloviev told The New York Times in 2018. 

In addition to his real estate endeavors, Solow was an avid art collector and founded the Solow Art and Architecture Foundation.