Laura Yablon Rapaport, 32, SVP of Development and Capital Raising, L&L Holding Co.
Laura was "definitely" going to be a doctor as she entered college from her native Irvington, NY, but fate conspired otherwise.
In her senior year of high school, family friend Earle Altman (now ABS Partners chairman), offered her an unpaid summer internship doing leasing for Helmsley Spear. Impressed by her ability to complete two weeks of assignments in her first morning, they told her that if she got a real estate license and signed a tenant, they'd pay her. She did just that.
Excited by her initial foray into real estate, Laura managed to get summer jobs at Cushman & Wakefield after her freshman and sophomore years in college, where she worked with Tara Stacom, shadowing the superbroker at every meeting as she leased up the famed Helmsley Building, among others.
After graduating from Penn in ‘03, Laura went to London where she became the first analyst in Lehman Brothers’ real estate finance group.
But after completing deals in 13 countries, she yearned to be on the principal side. So she went to Tishman Speyer doing acquisitions and development and became one of the youngest directors in the firm. She worked as project manager for 2 Gotham Center, a 575k SF office building now 100% leased to the City of New York.
Then with perfect recession timing, she spent '08 to '10 at Penn’s Wharton, where she also ran the Real Estate Club.
Three and a half years ago, she was hired by L&L Holding, a NYC owner and operator with a 6M SF portfolio, including 195 and 222 Broadway and a fully renovated 200 Fifth Ave, which now boasts such blue-chip tenants as Grey, IMG, Tiffany, and Eataly.
She’s now project manager for the first ground-up, full-block office building on Park Avenue in over 47 years, 425 Park. Between 55th and 56th, it'll likely be the avenue’s only new office building in our lifetime, Laura tells us. The modernity will make it unique on Park and in Midtown—LEED Gold, 9.5- to 14.5-foot ceilings, indoor and outdoor amenity space, column-free floorplates on the high-rise floors—L&L’s "lasting legacy" on the city’s grand boulevard. Norman Foster was picked from among nine Pritzker Architecture Prize winners to design the project, for which schematic design has just been completed and demolition starts next May.
Laura has devoted her free time to launching Penn Women in Real Estate, as well as founding and running The Friends for Kids Foundation at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital. The nonprofit provides arts and crafts for patients and their families. And she continues to try to visit as many interesting places in the world as possible.