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New York Observer | New York’s City Shapers

12.04.07

From hotels to shops to home sales to blogs to skyline-changing developments, these personalities animate Gotham real estate

By Chris Shott

One of Robert K. Futterman’s favorite photographs shows his kids standing in front of what is now the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue.

Hanging in the empty window behind them is, of course, a sign sporting Papa Futterman’s own blue “RKF” logo, inspired by his “real-estate hero,” Edward S. Gordon, and his longtime client, the GAP.

This week, The Observer checks in on 10 modern-day “real-estate heroes” (or villains, depending on your perspective) and what they’re up to.

Take Mr. Futterman, whose GAP-inspired signs have come to dominate Manhattan storefronts over the past 10 years (and are now also cropping up across Los Angeles and Las Vegas) from Time Warner Center to Grand Central Station to the Plaza Hotel—even the abandoned and notoriously rat-infested KFC-Taco Bell space in Greenwich Village.

Hey, they can’t all be Victoria’s Secret.

As Mr. Futterman explained, “At the end of the day, if economics are driving a situation, you may not end up with Anthropologie, J. Crew and Steve Madden shoes. You may end up with AT&T Wireless and Starbucks.”

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