David Bistricer

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David Bistricer
Born 1949 (age 68–69)
Brussels, Belgium
Residence Borough Park, Brooklyn
Nationality United States
Occupation Real Estate Developer
Known for Founder and Principal of Clipper Equity
Spouse(s) Esther Bistricer
Children Five
Parent(s) Elsa Bistricer
Moric Bistricer

David Bistricer (born August 10, 1949) is a New York-based real estate developer and the founder and principal of Clipper Equity.[1] His firm focuses on the conversion of non-residential buildings to residential uses.[2]His business practices have led him to being called a slumlord, and he has featured on New York's Worst Landlords list.[3]

Early life and education

Bistricer was born in Brussels, Belgium to an Orthodox Jewish family, the son of Moric and Elsa Bistricer.[1][4] His mother was a prisoner at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany during World War II while his father hid from the Nazis in Budapest.[1] In 1951, his family immigrated to New York City when Bistricer was two.[1] In New York, his parents invested in real estate primarily on West End Avenue and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.[1] Bistricer joined the family business in the 1970s.[1] In the 1980s, the Bistricer family was heavily involved in the conversion of rental buildings in New York City into cooperatives.In 1994, they were charged with not disclosing sufficient information to the buyers of the units and in 1998, they were banned from selling co-ops and condos.[1] In 2001, the restriction on the family business was partially lifted and in 2009, it was fully lifted.[1]


In 1987, in his first large transaction, Bistricer partnered with real estate investor Jacob Schwimmer and purchased a four-tower, 960 apartment complex at 101 Wadsworth Avenue in Washington Heights for $11 million.[1] Also in 1987, Bistricer purchased 30% of the Chicago-based electrical wire manufacturer, Coleman Cable (which went public in 2007).[1] In 2002, he expanded into Brooklyn purchasing two Downtown Brooklyn office buildings for $40 million; and in 2005, he purchased the 27-story New York Telephone Company building in Downtown Brooklyn and converted the building into the 219-unit BellTel Lofts condominiums, one of the first large residential projects in Downtown Brooklyn.[1]

In 2005, Bistricer purchased the rent-regulated 59 building Vanderveer Estates Apartments in East Flatbush for $138.2 million. with the intent to renovate them and then on-sell them to tenants with higher incomes. At the time of the purchase, the complex had over 10,000 housing code violations and earned Bistricer a listing on the list of Worst Landlords put out by the then New York Public Advocate, Bill de Blasio[5]. By 2016 Bistricer had reduced the code violations at the complex, since renamed Flatbush Gardens, to less than 500 after spending $20 million in additional renovations.[1][6]

In 2006, Bistricer founded Clipper Equity.[1] A year later, his bid to purchase for $1.3 billion the rent regulated Starrett City complex in East New York failed, partly the result of bad publicity surrounding the Tishman Speyer Properties purchase of Stuyvesant Town–Peter Cooper Village.[1][7] In 2011, partnering with Joseph Chetrit, he purchased the Chelsea Hotel for $80 million;[8][9][10] they sold their interest in 2013.[11] In 2013, Bistricer began the restoration and reconversion to a hotel of the former Hotel Bossert in Downtown Brooklyn[12] and the conversion of the Cabrini Medical Center in Manhattan into housing.[1]

In 2013, in his largest transaction to date, Bistricer and his partner Joseph Chetrit, purchased the Sony Tower in New York City for $1.1 billion, intending to convert the building into condominiums.[13][14] They halted the project in 2016 due to fears of an over-supply of luxury housing, instead selling the building for $1.4B to the Olayan Group of Saudi Arabia.[15]

Bistricer has a conservative investment methodology and typically minimizes the use of debt with no more than 70 percent debt to equity.[1]


In 2012, Bistricer donated $70,000 to various nonprofit groups including Yeshiva Simchas Chaim in Sheepshead Bay.[1]

Personal life

Bistricer lives in Borough Park, Brooklyn with his wife Esther.[1] They have five children.[1] His son J.J. Bistricer is also active in the family business.[1][16][14]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t The Real Deal: "David Bistricer gets busy - The $1.1 billion Sony Building buy is not the only deal occupying the investor’s time" By Adam Pincus September 01, 2013
  2. ^ "Clipper Equity". Clipper Equity. 
  3. ^ Fung, Amanda (25 May 2011). "Big slumlord slapped with suit". Crains New York Business. Retrieved 10 August 2017. 
  4. ^ The Real Deal: "Clans with plans" By Adam Pincus February 01, 2011
  5. ^ New York Daily News: "Slumlord David Bistricer pays $143K for emergency repairs - 7,434 code violations left to fix" By Erin Einhorn November 18, 2010
  6. ^ The Real Deal: "The Closing: David Bistricer" By E.B. Solomont March 1, 2016
  7. ^ New York Times: "Aspiring Buyer of Starrett City Is Back Onstage" By CHARLES V. BAGLI April 6, 2007
  8. ^ Wall Street Journal: "Hotel Chelsea's New Proprietor" by Craig Carmin May 16, 2011
  9. ^ New York Times: "First, No More Guests; Now, Chelsea Hotel Says No More Art" By COREY KILGANNON November 4, 2011
  10. ^ Curbed NY: "Joseph Chetrit Sues Hotel Chelsea's Former Owners for $4.15M" by Hana Alberts March 12, 2013
  11. ^ The Real Deal: "King & Grove reneges on Hotel Chelsea eviction vow: Tenants" September 17, 2013
  12. ^ New York Post: "Reputed slumlord taking over ‘Waldorf-Astoria of Brooklyn’" By Rich Calder May 15, 2012
  13. ^ Crain's New York: "How did this man buy that building? - Joseph Chetrit grabs Sony Building with $1.1B offer" By Daniel Geiger January 27, 2013
  14. ^ a b Wall Street Journal: "At Clipper Equity, Generational Change - Among other things, the company may sell part of its portfolio to the public" By Theresa Agovino October 11, 2015
  15. ^ New York Times: "Plan to Turn Sony Building Into Luxury Apartments Is Abandoned" By CHARLES V. BAGLI APRIL 29, 2016
  16. ^ Voz iz Neias: "Brooklyn, NY - Young Charedi Real Estate Mogul Praised For Revitalizing Living Conditions In Apt. Complex" November 7, 2008
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