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Sol Goldman; Owner of 400 N.Y. Buildings

October 21, 1987|From Times Wire Services

NEW YORK — Sol Goldman, a grocer's son who assembled an empire of properties worth hundreds of millions of dollars, mostly in New York City, has died at 70.

Goldman died Sunday at Lenox Hill Hospital two months after undergoing hip surgery.

Goldman did not buy his first piece of Manhattan real estate until 1955. But he and his partner, Alex DiLorenzo, soon became legendary if little known to the general public.

By 1960, they had purchased the Chrysler Building on speculation and made it their flagship. But the 1970s brought hard times to their entrepreneurship; the building fell into disrepair and they defaulted on their mortgage and lost it in 1975.

Despite the difficult times, Goldman was the city's largest private landlord by 1976, owning more than 400 buildings assessed at $450 million. By the mid-1980s, Goldman reportedly controlled nearly 600 properties.

His interests extended across the country. He and his brother, Irving, purchased the Riviera Hotel in Palm Springs, Calif., in 1965 for a reported $9 million and sold it back nine years later to the original builders for an undisclosed price. Goldman reportedly once bought 18 Sheraton hotels in a single purchase.

Goldman was the son of a grocer and built his wealth by ignoring what he said was his mother's advice: "Never leave the store, Sol. It's a gold mine."

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