New York Retail Mogul Stanley Chera Dies at 78

The founder of Crown Acquisitions led his firm from humble beginnings to its present-day success as one of Manhattan’s major investors.
Crown Acquisitions headquarters at 667 Madison Ave. Image via Google Street View

Stanley Chera, founder of Crown Acquisitions, died on April 11 due to complications arising from COVID-19. He was 78. The Real Deal first reported Chera’s death, less than two weeks after a The New York Times article indicated he was in a medically induced coma.

Chera’s retail investment legacy spans several decades. In 1947, his father opened a children’s clothing store named Young World in Brooklyn. The brand was a hit and expanded to several other locations. After Stanley Chera took the helm in the 1980s, he steered Crown toward real estate investment, first acquiring properties leased by the clothing retailer and later expanding with the purchase of other nearby buildings.

The company first began to take minority stakes in larger retail properties and portfolios. More recently, however, Crown Acquisitions made a name for itself with a larger part in several notable Manhattan deals. In 2008, the firm joined forces with the Carlyle Group in the $525 million acquisition of a controlling interest in the retail component at Kushner Cos.’ 666 Fifth Ave. One year ago, the firm acquired part of a $1.2 billion retail portfolio from Vornado Realty Trust, involving properties along Upper Fifth Avenue and in Times Square.