Stanley Chera

Stanley Isaac Chera[1] (October 22, 1942 – April 11, 2020) was an American real estate developer and founder of Crown Acquisitions.[2] He died during the COVID-19 pandemic due to complications brought on by COVID-19.

Stanley Chera
Born(1942-10-22)October 22, 1942
DiedApril 11, 2020(2020-04-11) (aged 77)
OccupationReal estate developer
Known forFounder of Crown Acquisitions

Early lifeEdit

Chera was born in 1942 in Brooklyn to a Syrian Jewish family.[2][3][4][5] In 1947,[2] his father Isaac Chera opened a retail store called Young World in Brooklyn, New York.[3] The family later purchased the building and grew Young World into a chain purchasing the buildings as they expanded.[3]


In the 1980s, Chera (then in charge of the family company) started purchasing real estate in New York City[2] at first as a minority partner and later in 2000s as the lead developer.[3] Chera was known for developing or "repositioning" the retail portion of his buildings and then selling the property.[3]

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;[6] and also the retail portion of the St. Regis Hotel in a joint venture with Lloyd Goldman and Jeffrey Feil for $380 million.[7] In 2010, he began the restoration of The Knickerbocker Hotel in Manhattan.[2][8] In 2012, Chera purchased 49.9% interest in a four-building Fifth Avenue portfolio that included the Olympic Tower for $1 billion from the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation.[9]

In June 2013, Chera purchased 650 Madison Avenue for $1.3 billion in partnership with Highgate Holdings from the Carlyle Group.[6][7] He was an investor in the One World Trade Center[2] and accumulated a lot of property in Red Hook, Brooklyn.[2] Crown is also a prominent investor (along with Albert Laboz, Joseph Jemal, and Eli Gindi) in the Fulton Mall in Brooklyn.[10] Chera had a conservative investment strategy borrowing no more than 25 to 35% of the purchase price[2] given that they are long term holders in assets.[3] In 2009, Crown held 15 million square feet of real estate in New York City.[11]

Personal lifeEdit

Chera and his wife Frieda, nicknamed "Cookie",[12] had three sons: Isaac "Ike" Chera, Haim Chera, and Richard Chera, all active in the family business.[3][13] Chera was a leader in the Brooklyn Sephardic Jewish community. Chera was an associate and friend of Donald Trump, and donated to the Trump Victory Committee.[14][15]


Chera was hospitalized for an unknown illness in March 2020[16] and later tested positive for COVID-19. Prior to his hospitalization, he had relocated to his home in Deal, New Jersey.[17] Chera entered a coma the following week[18] and died on April 11, 2020.[19] His wife also contracted the virus, but recovered.[12]

President Trump, in a recent Fox News interview[20], described Chera's death as having a high impact on his thinking:

"I’ve lost three friends. One, a very good friend, a very successful man, New York guy, employed a lot of people that were all crying over his death. Stanley Chera. He went to the hospital, he calls me up. He goes, “I tested positive.” I said, “Well, what are you going to do?” He said, “I’m going to the hospital. I’ll call you tomorrow.” He didn’t call. I call the hospital, he’s in a coma. Now, I know a lot of people that had the flu, they were never in a coma."


  1. ^ Seelye, Katharine Q. (April 17, 2020). "Stanley Chera, Developer and Friend of Trump, Dies at 77". The New York Times. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Marino, Vivian (June 25, 2010). "Stanley Chera". New York Times. Retrieved December 9, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g The Real Deal: "The Syrian retail touch - An inside look at the Syrian Jewish investors dominating NYC retail — from Sutton to Sitt, including how much revenue they’re pulling in" By Adam Pincus January 1, 2014
  4. ^ The Real Deal: "Clans with Plans" by Adam Pincus February 1, 2011
  5. ^ "Crown Acquisitions Founder Stanley Chera Dies of Coronavirus". The Real Deal New York. April 11, 2020. Retrieved April 12, 2020.
  6. ^ a b The Real Deal: "$1.3B sale of 650 Madison hinges on dramatic increase in retail value, sources say" by Adam Pincus June 3, 2013
  7. ^ a b Jewish Voice New York: "Chera Family’s Crown Acquisitions Buys 650 Madison for $1.3 Billion" By Boruch Shubert June 5, 2013
  8. ^ The Real Deal: "Stanley Chera dishes on the Knickerbocker" June 28, 2010
  9. ^ The Real Deal: "Crown takes stake in $1B Fifth Avenue portfolio" May 14, 2012
  10. ^ The Real Deal: "Families plot Fulton Mall face-lift - A parcel-by-parcel look at what the corridor's tight-knit group of owners has in store" By Patrick Egan January 31, 2011
  11. ^ New York Observer: "Big-Time Fight Over St. Regis Retail; Chera Cries ‘Conspiracy’ in Lawsuit" By Dana Rubinstein November 10, 2009
  12. ^ a b Weiss, Lois (April 13, 2020). "Stanley Chera, real estate mogul and friend of Trump, dead at 78 from coronavirus". New York Post. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  13. ^ Commercial Observer: "Cartier! Versace! Vuitton! Financing Next Gen at Crown’s Ritzy Retail Focus" by Alessia Pirolo May 29, 2013
  14. ^ RASKIN, SALLY GOLDENBERG with SAM. "Trump's real estate buds". Politico PRO. Retrieved April 12, 2020.
  15. ^ Haberman, Maggie (April 1, 2020). "Friend Who Trump Says Has Coronavirus Is a New York Developer". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 12, 2020.
  16. ^ Weiss, Lois (March 24, 2020). "Developer and Trump pal Stanley Chera hospitalized". New York Post. Retrieved April 11, 2020.
  17. ^ "Stanley Chera in coma with Covid-19". The Real Deal. April 1, 2020. Retrieved April 11, 2020.
  18. ^ "Stanley Chera In Coma With COVID-19 - The Real Deal". The Real Deal New York. April 1, 2020.
  19. ^ "Stanley Chera, titan of NYC retail, dies of coronavirus". The Real Deal. April 11, 2020. Retrieved April 11, 2020.
  20. ^ Staff (May 3, 2020). "Donald Trump Virtual Town Hall Transcript". Retrieved May 4, 2020.