Ian Schrager Company
For over 5 decades, since the 70s, Ian Schrager has achieved international recognition for concepts that have revolutionized the entertainment, hospitality, food and beverage, retail and residential industries. He has changed the way we live our lives, entertain ourselves, party, dance, socialize, holiday, work, dine, drink, play, shop and even how we see the world. His passionate commitment to the modern lifestyle has been expressed through a series of pioneering concepts and the creation of numerous original innovations that have become standards and continue to be imitated throughout the world. His keen instincts for the mood and feel of popular culture were honed during the 70s and 80s, when he and his late business partner, Steve Rubell, created the legendary and groundbreaking Studio 54 and Palladium nightclubs. They soon turned their attention to the hotel business opening Morgans Hotel in 1984, introducing the concept of the “boutique hotel” to the world. The partners saw the opportunity to challenge the traditional “take no offense” white box and mass-market mentality in favor of something more unique, daring and original that gave people an elevated experience and elicited an emotional, visceral reaction. What was accomplished, for the first time, was that a hotel could appeal to a sensibility and be freed from the constraints of traditional demographics. The entire hotel industry was turned on its head. Part visionary, part social scientist, part businessman with a gift for seamlessly integrating art and commerce, everything Ian Schrager has accomplished chronicled the cultural narrative of that time and has been an unequivocal success.
John Pawson Limited
John Pawson has spent over thirty years making rigorously simple architecture that speaks of the fundamentals but is also modest in character. His body of work spans a broad range of scales and typologies, from private houses, sacred commissions, galleries, hotels, airport lounges, ballet sets, yacht interiors and a bridge across a lake. In 2016 Pawson completed his first major public project – the interior remodelling of the former Commonwealth Institute building in London, an iconic example of post-war British Modernism, as the new permanent home of the Design Museum. His working relationship with Ian Schrager extends over more than a decade, with commissions including 50 Gramercy Park North, the Miami Beach Edition Residences and Schrager’s own private penthouse apartment at 40 Bond. As Alvar Aalto’s bronze door handle has been characterised as the ‘handshake of a building’, so a sense of engaging with the essence of a philosophy of space through everything the eye sees or the hand touches is a defining aspect of Pawson’s attitude to design. His method is to approach design commissions in precisely the same way as he approaches buildings, on the basis that ‘it’s all architecture’. Whether at the scale of a house, a saucepan or a ballet, everything is traceable back to a consistent set of preoccupations with mass, volume, surface, proportion, junction, geometry, repetition, light and ritual. In this way, even something as modest as a fork can become a vehicle for much broader ideas about how we live and what we value.
Founded by Steven Witkoff in 1996, Witkoff is a market leader in the ownership and development of premier residential, hospitality, office, retail, and mixed-use properties in major cities across the United States and abroad. Over the past 20 years, the firm has invested in more than 75 projects comprising more than 18 million square feet and representing in excess of $7 billion in total transaction value. Witkoff specializes in identifying and acquiring undervalued properties with strong repositioning potential in gateway markets. The firm’s team of seasoned real estate professionals approaches each property in accordance with a defined set of fundamental principles. They leverage deep experience with all aspects of acquisitions, development, and operations to execute strategies that unleash latent value, build upon it, and protect it for the long term. Witkoff is proud to have developed a network of relationships that support ongoing achievement of the firm’s goals. Major property owners, advisors, and brokers consistently open up opportunities to source first-look and off-market transactions, while globally renowned financial institutions ensure seamless access to debt and equity for even the most complex or capital-intensive projects. In addition, strong rapport with municipalities and community groups facilitates positive outcomes related to land-use entitlements and zoning requirements. Through multiple market cycles, Witkoff’s vertically integrated approach, vast industry knowledge, and industry-wide relationships have resulted in a powerful track record of success. From construction of high-profile contemporary buildings to restoration of iconic historic landmarks, the firm’s portfolio reflects expertise in creating value across diverse asset classes in a variety of dynamic urban environments.
New Valley LLC
New Valley LLC is the real estate subsidiary of Vector Group Ltd. (NYSE: VGR), and maintains equity positions in numerous real estate investments, including a broad portfolio of domestic and international projects in the U.S. and the Caribbean. New Valley targets opportunities in high barrier to entry markets with irreplaceable locations that generate strong risk-adjusted returns. New Valley’s investment and development portfolio is comprised of apartments/condominiums, hotels, and land in Manhattan, Queens, Miami Beach, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Maryland, and Bermuda. New Valley owns 70% of Douglas Elliman, the largest residential real estate brokerage firm in the New York metropolitan area and fourth-largest in the U.S.