Richard S. LeFrak is Chairman and CEO of the LeFrak Organization, a privately-held, family-run company based in New York. Founded in 1901 and continuously owned and managed by members of the LeFrak family, the LeFrak Organization has more than 100 years of experience in the ownership, development, and management of real property. Mr. LeFrak joined the company in 1968 and was appointed President in 1975.
In 2003, Mr. LeFrak was elected Chairman and CEO. His forward-thinking vision and leadership continues to help expand and diversify one of the world’s most dynamic real estate development companies. Together with his sons, Harrison and James, Mr. LeFrak manages the company’s investment, development and management activities.
Under his management and guidance, Mr. LeFrak has continued to increase the size of the company’s portfolio of signature residential, office, hotel, and retail developments, including 14 million square feet of development at Newport, the largest new waterfront community in the country. In total, the company owns more than 400 buildings and 40 million square feet of real estate across the U.S., substantially all of which has been developed by the company or in partnership with its affiliated companies.
In addition to building, owning and managing scores of residential buildings throughout the New York metropolitan region, Mr. LeFrak continues to lead the company’s expansion and diversification outside of the New York area, focusing primarily on the West Coast and more recently in Miami. Last February, the company purchased a stake in Miami\’s 1 Hotel and Residences South Beach. This project, expected to be fully open in early 2014, will include the first 1 Hotel and branded residential property. The 1 brand will introduce an environmentally aware hotel development and management concept centered around the use of natural materials, sustainability, and healthy lifestyle. He is also overseeing the development of a 186-acre site in North Miami; and through an investment in ST Residential, has had interests in 2,800 residential units in 14 South Florida properties.
Although also active in oil and gas exploration as well as financial investments, Mr. LeFrak is best known as one of the most prolific and iconic real estate developers of all time, and often appears as a guest or host on important business television and radio programs, including CNBC and Bloomberg News.
Mr. LeFrak currently serves on a number of organizations, including the Board of Directors of the Prostate Cancer Foundation; and as a Member of the Board of Trustees of the American Museum of Natural History. He also served on the Board of Trustees of Amherst College; the Board of Trustees of Trinity School; a Member of the New York State Banking Board; and as a director of Bank United, Florida.
Additionally, Mr. LeFrak presides over the LeFrak Foundation, a private philanthropy whose mission encompasses a broad, but focused agenda, including the support of charitable organizations; institutions of higher learning, hospitals, research facilities, and cultural programs that sustain and encourage literary, performing, and visual arts.
Richard LeFrak received his BA and graduated cum laude from Amherst College. He later earned a JD from Columbia University. In 1998, LeFrak received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Amherst College. LeFrak and his wife, Karen, have two sons, Harrison and James; both are principals of the LeFrak Organization.