Photo by Jeremy Bales


Experience: After earning a master’s in urban planning from Hunter College, David Von Spreckelsen went to work at New York City’s Economic Development Corporation, where he “became enamored with the development process.” In 2004, while working for Silvercup Studios, a film/TV production studio in Queens, he responded to a classified ad in the New York Times placed by Pennsylvania-based Toll Brothers, looking for someone to start their New York operation. Von Spreckelsen got the job and has grown the unit from “just me in a temporary office” to a staff of 40 based on Wall Street.

Project:Pierhouse, Brooklyn “This view—from the Brooklyn Bridge to the lower Manhattan skyline to the Statue of Liberty—is probably the best in all of New York City. We designed the building so every unit would have it. That dictated the size and the shape of the units.”


Architect:Rogers Marvel Architects

Completion Date:Early 2016

Size:108 units, two 10-story buildings

Floor Plans:From one-bedrooms (1,000 square feet) starting at $1.5 million to five-bedrooms (4,200 square feet) for $11 million

Amenities:Two gyms, a meditation and yoga room, children’s room, pet wash, plus access to the amenities at the adjacent 1 Hotel

Special Features:Most units feature 18-foot ceilings to accent the views, an odorless compost unit to create organic soil for the outdoor spaces, and reclaimed wood from Brooklyn Bridge Park’s old warehouses.

Mantra:“I look at things first from the perspective of, Would I live here? We always look at neighborhoods where people want to live, and then tailor the approach for each building.”



Experience:After working in New York as a corporate real estate attorney for Sullivan & Cromwell, Yigal Zemah returned to Israel in 2002 to lead the real estate operations for Aurec, an Israeli private equity firm. In 2006, he incorporated Berggruen Residential with billionaire Nicolas Berggruen.

Project:Meier-on-Rothschild, Tel Aviv“Our plan was simple: to build the best tower ever built in Tel Aviv.”

Architect:Richard Meier

Completion Date:Fourth quarter of 2014

Size:141 units, 42 stories

Floor Plans:From one-bedrooms (557 square feet) starting at $2 million to a seven-bedroom penthouse (15,257 square feet) for $50 million

Amenities:25-meter pool, spa, wine cellar, gym, conference center

Special Features:The tower, which is the tallest in Tel Aviv, is surrounded by a $15 million white aluminum screen that provides the apartments with shade and helps reduce the amount of energy needed to cool the building.

Mantra:“We do not do mass construction; we do not do 20 towers. We try to do one thing a a time that changes how people look at real estate in the local market.”

Contact:[email protected], 972.3.510.0827,

Photo by Robert Adam Mayer


Experience:A mechanical engineer with an MBA from NYU, Senbahar first worked as a precious-metals trader for French financial firm Sucre et Denrées. But when Turkish construction firm Kiska approached him in 1985 to develop a high-rise project in the States, Senbahar decided to give real estate a try. For the past 25 years, he has been running his own firm, Alexico Group, which specializes in luxury condominiums in Manhattan.

Project:56 Leonard, Manhattan “We wanted to build something sculptural So we designed homes like pixels, and then stacked them all up to create 56 Leonard.”

Architect:Herzog & de Meuron

Completion Date:Summer 2015

Size:145 units, 60 stories

Floor Plans:From studios (655 square feet) starting at $1.48 million to a fivebedroom penthouse (7,799 square feet) for $47 million

Amenities:75-foot lap pool, indoor/outdoor theater, library, children’s room, fitness and yoga studio, sundeck

Special Features:The tallest building in Tribeca. Its entrance features an Anish Kapoor sculpture. Each unit has private outdoor space.

Mantra:“Some developers are so in love with their own design taste. I like to work with talented people and I like to listen to them; if I don’t listen to you, I wasted my time and money.”


Photo By Michael Molloy


Experience:Sellar started in the 1960s as a retailer with his Mates by Irvine Sellar stores in the UK. He began to develop his own stores and in 1991 moved full-time into real estate, starting Sellar Property Group, which, until new building the Shard, focused on solely commercial projects.


Project: The Shard, London “The Shard is a vertical town. The idea was to have a spread of use, so we are not dependent on any one sector. We have a major office area, nine separate restaurants, a hotel, 10 very special apartments, and viewing galleries.”

Architect:Renzo Piano

Completion Date:2012

Size:10 units, ranging from an estimated $50 million to $83 million, on 13 floors in a 95-floor, 1,016-foot-tall building

Floor Plans:Three two-story duplexes, seven single story units; 62,000 total square feet

Amenities:Access to all amenities at the building’s Shangri-La hotel, including a gym and a swimming pool

Special Features:The highest residence is 735 feet above ground; all units have 360-degree views.

Mantra:“Quality is remembered long after price is forgotten.”


Photo by Stian Roenning


Experience:A former fashion designer, Faena made his first foray into real estate in 2000 by redeveloping abandoned docklands in the Puerto Madero neighborhood of his hometown, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Faena partnered with businessman Len Blavatnik, designer Philippe Starck and architects Foster + Partners to revamp the district, which now includes an arts center, hotel and residential buildings.

Project:Faena House, Miami Beach “I hope to take this area that was not nice or interesting and have it become the best area of Miami Beach. People will be astonished with the beautiful buildings that they will see here.”

Architect:Foster + Partners

Completion Date:Spring 2015

Size:47 units, 18 stories

Floor Plans:From one-bedrooms (1,720 square feet, indoor and outdoor) starting at $2.5 million to a five-bedroom penthouse (18,250 square feet, indoor and outdoor) for $50 million

Amenities:Concierge service, outdoor pool and children’s pool, fitness center, spa, private beach club, plus access to amenities offered at Faena Saxony Hotel

Special Features:Every unit has an alero, or terrace, around the whole of its perimeter. Residents will have exclusive access to the Faena Miami Beach district, which will include an arts center, bazaar and park, all designed by Rem Koolhaas, as well as a marina.

Mantra:“What I create is an environment based in art and culture—something very special for that city. We convert something that is not good to something that is excellent. We transform cities.”

Contact:Alicia Goldstein, [email protected], 305.534.8800,