The Man Behind The “Walls”

Tony Goldman began his experience in real estate directly after college by working for his uncle, Milton Schwartz. Being his uncle’s management assistant at his large real estate firm, Goldman huddled close underneath Schwartz’s wing and was shown the ropes of real estate by someone who knew the business like the back of his hand.

After two and a half years of six-seven day work schedules, Goldman was still working closely to/for Milton Schwartz. Schwartz had a long running conflict with tenants in one of his buildings about their leases, and when Goldman tried to step in and advise Schwartz (Schwartz still as his superior), Goldman’s boss, in a fashion between sarcastic and serious tones, looked at him and said, “Why don’t you buy the building from me?”

In 1968, the Upper West Side, 92nd-93rd street property was not in ideal condition, at the time. The price was set at $125,000, with $20,000 cash. On December 1,1968, after piling all of their wedding money and most, if not all, of the money they had, Tony Goldman and his wife, Janet, bought the building and began Goldman Properties at age 24.

When Goldman finally bought the land underneath the building bought from Schwartz, he was able to come out of the deal with extra money, prompting him to begin buying more in the area, becoming the first of Goldman Properties’ numerous signature touches on the gentrification of a neighborhood.

Raised by a pair of Jewish parents that adopted Tony Goldman when he was an infant, Judaism played a significant part in his life and even in his business. Goldman purposely bought 18 properties in a neighborhood, symbolizing the Jewish “Chai”, an important number in the Jewish community. Aside from the religious significance, Goldman felt that the number of properties was the perfect balance in a neighborhood to be able to put his touch and control on the new vibe of the neighborhood.

Since his purchase in 1968, Goldman Properties has created a recurring theme throughout cities and neighborhoods where they renovate, putting a fresh, modern spin on many of the popular corridors that people know now. Names like Wynwood, South Beach, and Soho would have been common suburban communities if it was not for the business done by Goldman Properties.