Michael Shvo (born December 29, 1972) is a real estate developer based in New York City with offices in New York, London, and Dubai. He is the President and CEO of SHVO, a real estate development company he founded in 2004.
Early life and education
Shvo was raised in Arsuf, Israel, by parents who were both chemistry professors. He completed his military service in Israel and received a B.A. in finance at Bar-Ilan University. In 1996, he emigrated to the United States from Israel with only $3,000 to his name.
Shvo initially managed a fleet of taxis prior to landing a job as a real-estate broker with Douglas Elliman, the largest brokerage in New York. In 2003, at the age of 30, he achieved more than $300 million in sales from more than 400 deals, becoming the firm's top broker. He created his own group within the firm and managed a staff of 27 people. He left the firm in 2004 to launch his own international real estate firm, SHVO. His firm currently develops high end properties internationally. From 2003 through 2008, he performed $15 billion in real estate transactions worldwide, including Nurai, a private island off the coast of Abu Dhabi. Additional developments in New York included the Bryant Park Tower, The Lumiere on 53rd Street in Manhattan, Gramercy Starck designed by Philippe Starck, Jade by Jade Jagger, Fultonhaus, as well as Amangiri in Utah and Nizuc in Mexico. He was known for creating the marriage of fashion and real estate with his project 20 Pine Armani Casa, where Armani was hired to design the interior of the building.
Shvo took a break from real estate in 2008, focusing on his passion for art. He got back into the real estate market in 2013, initially purchasing a Getty Oil gas station at the corner of 10th Avenue and 24th Street in West Chelsea, Manhattan. He paid $23.5 million for the property which was a record price for per buildable square foot in Manhattan. Prior to the development of the property, he turned the former gas station into a public art space. The inaugural show "Sheep Station" featured a white picket fence, grass and trees around the gas pumps, and 25 grazing concrete sheep sculptures by late artist François-Xavier Lalanne. The site has been developed into a high-end luxury condominium named The Getty Building, with Peter Marino designated as the architect for both the interior and exterior of the project.
Shvo's announced in early 2014 the acquisition of eight properties located in SoHo, Manhattan, including parcels located between Varick Street, Broome Street, and Watts Street. He paid $130 million for the site, with plans of turning it into a 30-story residential tower. It was reported by the New York Post that the project would potentially generate more than $800 million in sales. In August 2014, he made a large land acquisition totaling approximately $240 million to develop one of the tallest towers in New York City and the tallest residential tower in Lower Manhattan. The project site is in direct proximity to the new World Trade Center complex, with proposed plans for the tower to rise upwards of 1,356 feet.
In January 2015, Shvo went into contract on an acquisition of an island, Matt Lowe's Cay, in Abacos, Bahamas, comprising 50 acres and seven private beaches. Matt Lowe's Cay has received local government approvals to proceed with plans for a luxury hotel and residential development, including private villas and a 40-50 slip inland marina. In 2015, he also acquired the majority of the Crown Building located at 57th Street and Fifth Avenue, in partnership with Vladislav Doronin. General Growth Properties and Wharton properties acquired the retail part of the building. The $1.8 billion purchase was one of the largest in New York City real estate history. The property was designed by Warren and Wetmore, architects of the Helmsley Building and Grand Central Terminal. The property will be redeveloped into an Aman Hotel and 26 apartments that will go by the name of Aman New York Residences.
In September 2016, Shvo was accused by Manhattan District Attorney of buying art and other luxury items, using them in New York and claiming they had been sent out of state to avoid $1.275 million in sales, use and corporate taxes. Shvo settled the case in 2018 and paid $3.5 million.
In 2019, Shvo purchased the Raleigh Hotel from Tommy Hilfiger along with partners Bilgili Holdings and Deutsche Finance America. Along with the same partners, Shvo purchased a property on Wilshire Boulevard for $130 million, which is reported to be developed into residential and retail space.
Partial list of projects
|2019||Raleigh Hotel (Miami Beach)||1775 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL. Art deco building purchased by SHVO and other partners from Tommy Hilfiger in 2019.|
|2018||685 Fifth Ave., Manhattan||Located at 54th and Fifth Avenue. Conversion into Mandarin Oriental residences.|
|2015||Crown Building||Located at 57th Street and Fifth Avenue. The property will be redeveloped into an Aman Hotel and 26 apartments that will go by the name of Aman New York Residences.|
|2015||Matt Lowe's Cay||50-acre private island in Bahamas a luxury hotel and residential development.|
|2014||125 Greenwich Street||1,356 foot tall residential tower, largest residential tower located at the World Trade Center District. Revealed to be 912 foot and became a project of Bizzi & Partners in 2017.|
|2014||SoHo||30-story residential tower located at 100 Varick Street.|
|2013-2016||The Getty Building||Parcel located at the corner of 10th Avenue and 24th Street in Manhattan, originally transformed into art exhibition. The site has been developed into a high-end luxury condominium named The Getty Building.|
Shvo has conceived several art projects, including Documents of Desire & Disaster, a retrospective of contemporary photographer David La Chapelle’s work. He partnered with Paul Kasmin Gallery & Serdar Bilgili, who owns the Akaretler area in Istanbul where the exhibition took place in December 2010.
Shvo also created Getty Station, a public art installation at the former getty station on 10th avenue and 24th street in Manhattan. He purchased the property in early August 2013 and transformed into a sheep’s meadow with 25 sheep sculptures by Francois Xavier Lalanne. Shvo collaborated with Paul Kasmin Gallery for the exhibit.
Shvo also curated the selling exhibition Les Lalanne: The Poetry of Sculpture along with Paul Kasmin at the S|2 Gallery of Sotheby's Auction House in New York. It included rare Lalanne sculptures in a midnight garden setting.
In 2019 Shvo created an exhibition at the Raleigh Hotel, a property he had purchased the same year. Called "Les Lalanne at The Raleigh Gardens," it is a sculpture garden in memory of the French artist François-Xavier Lalanne.
Awards and recognition
Shvo was listed as one of "New York's City Shapers" by The New York Observer in 2007 and made the magazine's list of 100 Most Power People in New York Real Estate in 2008. He was also listed in Art+Auction's 2013 Power 100 List.
Shvo resides in New York City and The Hamptons with his wife, Seren Shvo, and their daughter Emma Shvo.