Along with his brother William, Arthur Zeckendorf is a co-owner of real estate firms Terra Holdings and Zeckendorf Realty. These days the brothers are best known as the developers of super-luxe 15 Central Park West.
The Zeckendorf family has been a force in New York real estate for over half a century. It all started with Arthur's grandfather, William "Big Bill" Zeckendorf Sr., who during the '40s and '50s developed and/or owned iconic properties such as the Chrysler Building, 740 Park, the parcel of land on which the UN was built, and the Century City complex in Los Angeles. The next family real estate titan was the brothers' father, William Zeckendorf Jr., whose marquee projects included the David Childs-architected Worldwide Plaza and the Zeckendorf Towers at Union Square, both of which were erected during the 1980s. As for Arthur, he grew up in luxury on the Upper East Side, attended Tufts (just like his older brother, William), and worked for dad until his retirement in 1992. Shortly afterward he and his brother organized their own development concern, Zeckendorf Realty. Their first major move was the 1995 purchase of Terra Holdings, the owner of brokerages like Brown Harris Stevens and Halstead Property, a deal carried out in partnership with fellow real estaters Kent Swig and David Burris.
As real estate developers, William and Arthur haven't been very prolific but their few projects have attracted plenty of attention for their extraordinary luxuriousness. In 2000, the duo built 515 Park Avenue, a 43-story, 38-unit tower that boasts a handful of notable residents including billionaire casino king Phillip Ruffin, money manager Christopher Browne, and record mogul LA Reid. But the brothers are better known these days for their much hyped 15 Central Park West. Situated on a land parcel they bought for $401 million in 2004, the ultra-luxe Robert A.M. Stern-designed development consists of a 20-story tower ("The House") and a 43-story story tower ("The Tower"). Some of its many amenities: a walnut-lined private library, a 20-seat screening room, a 75-foot lap pool, and an in-house chef. The building is already sold out—the brothers' reportedly netted a billion-dollar profit on the building—and has attracted boldfaced tenants like Sandy Weill, Lloyd Blankfein, Bob Costas, Sting, Denzel Washington, Robby Browne, Daniel Och, and Dan Loeb, who paid $45 million for the penthouse.
The Zeckendorfs are plotting another big-ticket development in the vein of 515 Park and 15 CPW, a 35-story condo on East 60th Street.
Though Arthur is a year younger than WLZ, he's just about totally bald, whereas WLZ retains a relatively full head of hair.
Arthur's wife is Constance Zeckendorf ("Connie"), a broker at the family-owned firm Brown Harris Stevens. They have two kids—including Arthur Jr. ("Artie") who attended Tufts like his father—and a cocker spaniel named Rex. Arthur and Connie live at 15 CPW (as does his brother) and spend weekends at their house in East Hampton. In 2009, they sold their former apartment on East 72nd Street for $1.81 million.