Daniel Neiditch (CGS’99, Questrom’01) on His Successes with Real Estate, Solar Power, and Philanthropy
Sitting in his office looking out over the Hudson River and the Manhattan skyline, Daniel Neiditch (CGS ’99, Questrom 01) does not seem at first like a real estate magnate. He has a quiet, unassuming demeanor, he’s wearing a gray hoodie, and his overall affect is ‘chill.’ Yet Daniel is the president of River 2 River Realty which sells, leases and manages over a billion dollars of New York City property, and he is also the president of the Atelier, a 46-story luxury condominium building on West 42nd street just a block from the Hudson River, the building which houses his office. It is the tallest residential building in the U.S. that uses solar power, something Daniel is passionate about.
Go on River 2 River’s website and you’ll see beautiful pictures of jaw-dropping luxury apartments, some of which are available in the Atelier. The condos in the Atelier come with conveniences like 24-hour concierge services, a tennis court, a basketball court, indoor and outdoor pools, a rooftop deck with an ice rink, and a dog walking area. The 15,000 square foot penthouse condo suite (basically a floor and a half of the building) comes with a million dollar yacht, two Rolls-Royce Phantoms (one convertible, one hard top), a Lamborghini, and two round-trip tickets to outer space. The asking price: $85 million. Not surprisingly, given the nature of the properties he deals with, Daniel frequently works with celebrity clients (Michael Douglas, Jeremy Piven, Hillary Duff, and Lindsay Lohan, to name a few). Daniel’s office displays dozens of framed pictures of him with well-known figures from politics, sports, and the entertainment industry, including a row of pictures of him with several of the past Presidents of the U.S., some of which are also on display on his personal website.
Given his phenomenal success with River 2 River Realty (which was founded over 70 years ago as a small family business and which he has grown substantially), and given the clientele Daniel works with, one might expect Daniel to be a bit aloof or even imperious. But that would indeed be a mistake. Daniel is warm, open, down-to-earth, and compassionate about those who do not come from privilege—in part because he’s gone through difficult times himself. As a child, he experienced the pain of family members’ addiction and went through a period of homelessness himself. That experience has led him to make extraordinary efforts to reach out to the homeless, spending several nights living on the streets of New York in order to truly understand their plight. He has gone out of his way to help the homeless he has befriended in these experiences by getting them apartments and jobs so they can get back on their feet again. Daniel spent New Year’s Eve this past year working to support the homeless at a Police Athletic League event, and currently, he is pitching a TV-series that would follow other successful professionals as they live on the streets with the homeless for a few nights. He describes the proposed show as “Undercover Boss for the Homeless.” Stay tuned!
Daniel is also involved philanthropically with numerous agencies that focus on underprivileged children, particularly Room to Grow, which gives families the coaching and material support to help them take care of their children. He has also been very active with the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, which helped the citizens of Haiti rebuild after the devastating earthquake of 2010. Because of his extensive philanthropic endeavors, Daniel was invited to throw out the first pitch at a Red Sox game at Fenway Park last fall. When he came back to Boston for the event, he dropped by the College of General Studies (CGS) to visit his former Rhetoric professor, Megan Sullivan, now the Associate Dean for Faculty Research and Development and Director of CGS’s Center for Interdisciplinary Teaching & Learning. He wanted to thank her for her kindness to him when he was a freshman. In the first few weeks of his freshman year, Daniel became very ill with a viral infection and had to be hospitalized for almost a month. Professor Sullivan’s genuine concern for his well-being, and her patience in catching him up with work when he returned, have stayed with him ever since, and he was pleased to be able to see her again and tell her so. He is also grateful to her for teaching him to write well, a skill that comes in handy on a daily basis. As Daniel puts it, “I write all the time.” He publishes regularly in leading publications such as Forbes and The Huffington Post. Not surprisingly, his articles often advocate for the homeless—or for the use of solar power—but he also publishes good advice on the practices of successful entrepreneurs.
At CGS we are very proud of Daniel Neiditch’s many accomplishments, and very pleased he has reconnected with his CGS ‘home.’
–By College of General Studies Dean Natalie McKnight