Bloomberg Billionaires Index

View profiles for each of the world’s 500 richest people, see the biggest movers, and compare fortunes or track returns.

# 449 Sheldon Solow $4.75B

Random fact: Son of a bricklayer who dropped out of NYU to start real estate career.


Solow is a property developer whose New York City holdings include nearly 2,000 apartments and 2.8 million square feet of office space in Manhattan. His assets include 9 West 57th Street, a 1.7 million-square-foot Manhattan office tower, and 685 First Avenue, a 551 unit luxury rental and condo building, both in mid-town Manhattan.

As of :
Last change No change
YTD change +$25.0M ( +0.5%)
Industry Real Estate
Biggest asset Real estate
Citizenship United States
Age 91
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Sheldon Solow's net worth of $4.75B can buy ...

troy ounces of gold
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

of the GDP of the United States
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
of U.S. existing home sales
times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Solow’s net worth is derived from his real estate holdings through closely-held Solow Realty. He owns about 2 million square feet of office space and 2,000 apartment units. He also owns about 5 acres of vacant land on the east side of Manhattan, according to New York City land records and The Real Deal.

Each of Solow’s properties is individually valued using average occupancy rates, rent per square foot or unit, operating margins, leverage and cap rates according to data provided by property researchers Real Capital Analytics, REIS and Cushman and Wakefield. Where actual occupancy rates and financials are available for buildings that have mortgages in place, those numbers are used instead.

His most valuable real estate asset is the Solow Building at 9 West 57th Street, a 1.7 million-square-foot tower in mid-town Manhattan that Bloomberg values at $2.7 billion. Tenants include Chanel, Apollo, Och Ziff and Tiger Global. It is also the headquarters of Solow Realty.

Solow properties are associated with almost $2 billion worth of debt, according to data from CMBS documents available on Bloomberg. For buildings with no public CMBS reporting, it is assumed that debt equals 60% of a property's valuation. This debt is subtracted from the value of his properties.

The value of his cash and other investable assets is calculated using an analysis of taxes and market performance, and includes art, property sales and purchases.

A member of the Solow organization contacted by Bloomberg who did not wish to be identified said that Solow declined to comment on his net worth.


Birthdate: 7/1/1928
Family: Married, 2 children

Solow was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1929. He attended New York University in the 1950s, and dropped out to start a career in real estate. He purchased a plot to built a skyscraper at 9 West 57th Street in 1972 and completed construction two years later, before moving on to build residential properties across Manhattan in the following decades.

The billionaire won a land auction in 2000 for a 9.2-acre plot along the city's East River, paying $631 million, and gained approval for a $4 billion development project on the land in 2008. He postponed construction in the wake of the global financial crisis and sold two acres of the lot to JDS Group for $200 million in 2013. He completed a new 715,000 square foot condo and luxury rental building on a portion of the land in 2018.

He's filed more than 200 lawsuits since the 1970s, including a fight with Citigroup that ended with an $85.7 million judgment against him in 2010. Solow is married and has two children.

  • 1929 Born in Brooklyn, New York.
  • 1972 Bought 9 West 57th Street property for the Solow Building.
  • 1974 Builds 9 West 57th Street office tower.
  • 2005 Pays $631 million for 9.2 acres of land along Manhattan's East River.
  • 2010 Loses lawsuit against Citigroup. Forced to pay $85.7 million.
  • 2013 Sells two acres of East River property to JDS Group for $200 million.
  • 2016 Buys Billionaire's Row property after long legal battle for $128 million.