Billionaire real estate developer Stephen Ross has not made many friends since news came out that he's hosting a Hamptons fundraiser for our racist president's reelection efforts — with some tickets going for $250,000. What has especially irked many is that Ross owns many properties and companies patronized by Trump opponents, especially LGBTQ folks. While Equinox gyms and the SoulCycle chain, both part of Ross's portfolio, caused the most consernation, the Trump enabler has his hands in many brands. Check out his many holdings below.
Ross's main gig is chairman of The Related Companies, a development firm behind some of the largest real estate projects in the world. Related built Hudson Yards, a mammoth mixed-use project on Manhattan's far westside. Hudson Yards is the "largest private real estate development in the history of the United States and the largest development in New York City since Rockefeller Center," according to Related, which owns the majority of the project. Related is also building The Grand, a collection of towers, apartments, and retail that will transform a parcel of downtown Los Angeles. Related also owns The Shops at Columbus Circle in midtown Manhattan, which it helped build. The company has constructed or owns projects in cities like Miami, Chicago, Las Vegas, London, and Abu Dhabi; the company's massive reach is a large contributor to Ross's astounding wealth and influence.
Ross's ownership of the Equinox gym chain is very problematic. The high-end fitness centers are frequented by many LGBTQ folks, or were, with about 135 locations spread around queer centers like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Vancouver, and Toronto. While Equinox has moved to separate itself from its "passive investor," many have already ripped up their memberships (which can go for north of $200 a month). The first Equinox opened way back in 1991 and the chain was purchased by Ross in 2006. Equinox Hotels were planned for New York and Los Angeles, but that seems contingent on the brand surviving this PR disaster.
Another fitness chain under Ross's umbrella, SoulCycle is taking much heat after the billionaire's Trump largesse was revealed. SoulCycle has about 90 locations in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, and is basically devoted to spin classes, aka stationary bike classes. A majority stake of the company was bought by Ross's Related Companies in 2011. A spokesperson for both Equinox and SoulCycle released the following statement on Wednesday: "Neither Equinox nor SoulCycle have anything to do with the event later this week and do not support it. As is consistent with our policies, no company profits are used to fund politicians. We are committed to all our members and the communities we live in. We believe in tolerance and equality, and will always stay true to those values. Mr. Ross is a passive investor and is not involved in the management of either business."
Ross can't deny strong connections to this popular NFL team; he's both chairman and owner. Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills expressed outrage at Ross, saying on Wednesday that his boss was a hypocrite. Referencing one of Ross's nonprofits that claims to battle racism, Stills tweeted, "You can’t have a nonprofit with this mission statement then open your doors to Trump." The Dolphins, meanwhile, hosted a Pride night in April that honored victims of the Pulse massacre.
While Ross doesn't technically own the politician, he tried to. Ross went in big seven years ago for the failed presidential candidate, working to raise oodles of money for him, possibly millions. Ross went beyond cutting checks for Romney, going on television to sing his praises and claiming, "The Country Needs Mitt Romney." Wonder why he's not doing the same for his current favorite, Trump?
Stephen Ross is also into food. His RSE Ventures has financed the popular and trendy Momofuku chain of Asian eateries, run by lauded restauranteur David Chang. The beloved Momofuku collection of restaurants — 14 in all — can be found in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Sydney, and Toronto. Ross is also bankrolling Milk Bar, a dessert chain found in many of the aforementioned cities and part of the Momofuku Group.
"Bluestone Lane is an Australian-inspired coffee shop, cafés & lifestyle brand committed to providing a genuine daily escape for all our locals," according to its website. It's also under Stephen Ross's control. The chain operates throughout New York, with locations in San Francisco, D.C., Beverly Hills, and is expanding in the L.A. area to Venice and the gay mecca of West Hollywood.