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Virus claims three of industry’s own

The corona virus has claimed the life of Crown Acquisitions co-founder Stanley Chera.

Corcoran brokers Robby Browne and Marc Goodman have also succumbed to the deadly virus that has brought the US to its knees, killing 28,057 Americans as of Sunday, April 12.

Chera, a prominent owner, developer and friend of President Donald Trump, died on April 11 after nearly a month-long battle with the coronavirus.


It was his illness that caused the president to abandon his plan to ease social distancing guidelines by Easter, according to multiple sources.

The 78-year-old developer, who introduced Trump at last year’s Veterans Day Parade, had been diagnosed positive along with his wife, Frieda.

While she recovered, Mr Chera was admitted to New York Presbyterian Hospital and placed on a ventilator.

During a White House press brief when Trump was re-thinking is plan to re-open the nation, the president said, “I have some friends that are unbelievably sick. We thought they were going in for a mild stay. And, in one case, he’s unconscious — in a coma.”

Chera had been one of Trump’s closest friends and part of New York City’s inner circle of powerful players that included Charles Kushner, father of Trump advisor, Jared Kushner.

Jared is currently leading a “shadow” coronavirus task force, according to a report in Vanity Fair magazine.

Chera began building his real estate empire in the 1980s. In 2013, he purchased 650 Madison Avenue for $1.3 billion, in partnership with Highgate Holdings, from the Carlyle Group.

He was an investor in the One World Trade Center and accumulated a lot of property in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

Mr Chera was also a prominent investor (along with Albert Laboz, Joseph Jemal, and Eli Gindi) in the Fulton Mall in Brooklyn.

In a joint venture with The Carlyle Group and Charles Kushner, Chera sold the retail portion of 666 Fifth Avenue in two transactions for more than $1 billion; and also the retail portion of the St. Regis Hotel in a joint venture with Lloyd Goldman and Jeffrey Feil for $380 million.

He was known for his conservative investment strategy, borrowing no more than 25 to 35 percent of the purchase price and holding his assets for the long term.

Along with his wife, he is survived by three sons: Isaac “Ike” Chera, Haim Chera and Richard Chera, who are all active in the family business.

The day after Mr Chera’s death, it was revealed that residential powerhouse Robby Browne had died from COVID-19.


Ranked among the most successful brokers in the US, Mr Browne was a Princeton and Harvard graduate who had been in the business for 34 years.
“Today is a difficult, heartbreaking day for our Corcoran family,” said the residential brokerage company is a statement announcing Browne’s death on Sunday.
“To know Robby was to love him. He was a light that shined brightly — not only at Corcoran but across our industry, and to all who had the opportunity to meet him.”


The brokerage company was already mourning the passing is West Side broker Marc J. Goodman, 57.

“An unfailing optimist, Marc is remembered by his colleagues and clients as the most generous of agents, always willing to lend an ear and offer a helping hand,” said CEO Pam Liebman in a statement.

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