NEW YORK CITY-William Zeckendorf Jr., a Manhattan developer, died Wednesday in Santa Fe, NM, according to Crain’s New York. He was 84.
Zeckendorf was the son of the developer who was responsible for assembling the land for the United Nations Building. The younger Zeckendorf made his own mark on the New York City skyline by developing a host of office and residential towers including One Worldwide Plaza and the Zeckendorf Towers on Union Square, The New York Times reported.
In 1986, the New York Times said Zeckendorf was Manhattan’s “most active real-estate developer,” noting that he was a partner in 20 developments worth well over $1 billion.
After Lincoln Center opened in 1962, Mr. Zeckendorf was the first to push north of West 72nd street, which was then known in developer circles as “the wild, wild west.” But in 1981, Zeckendorf broke ground on a 35-story building called the Columbia at Broadway and 96th Street for “luxury condominiums” in what had been a community garden.
While there was an outcry over the development, when the condos went on sale in 1983, most of them were snapped up by people who lived in the area, notes the Times. The units soon doubled in value. Aside from numerous New York City projects, Zeckendorf also set his hand to buildings in Washington DC.
In the 1990s, he fell into debt. He lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico, for the last 15 years. Zeckendorf’s two sons, Arthur and William Lie, eventually took over the family business and in recent years have developed some of the city’s toniest residential properties buildings, including 15 Central Park West and 515 Park Ave. He is survived by his sons, his wife, his sister and two grandchildren.