Michael Stern Skyscraper developer

Michael Stern Profile of a property developer

Who is he ?

He is the founder of the JDS Development Group.



Five towns, Long Island, New York.


Lawrence High School

First involvement in property

In around 2000 he got a job working as a project manager for a builder in Miami, Florida.

Stern stayed for three and a half years.

First developments

In his early to mid twenties he started developing properties in Miami including:

  • Townhouses
  • Mid-rises
  • High-rises

First involvement in New York Property

He moved his property business to New York and started building low-level houses in the ‘four boroughs’ including:

  • Manhattan
  • Brooklyn
  • Queens
  • Staten Island
  • The Bronx

Big break

When the Property market collapsed in August 2008 he purchased Walker Towers on West 18th Street for $25 million dollars.

This building was commissioned for the New York Telephone Company and designed by prestigious architect Ralph Thomas Walker and completed in 1929.

Stern turned this office block into apartments along with his partner, Property Markets Group (owned by Kevin Maloney).

Steinway Tower

He developed the 60–foot–wide, more than quarter–mile–high Steinway Tower on West 57th Street

Personal life

Divorced with two children

Learning lessons

We have read he gets a super amount of emails every day and prioritises them during the day and replies at night-time. He is a self-confessed workaholic and is divorced. We don’t like this – you can run a very big business and still have a nice life and work balance. A lot of property developers spend their whole lives building amazing structures but forget about smelling the roses along the way.

We admire his ability to get the Walker Tower and the Steinway Tower projects completed.

It is important to note that these projects simply do not happen unless they are well funded. All small property investors and developers need to remember that attracting solid investment is the key to growth.