Developer Richard LeFrak is passing the baton to his namesake company.

“I’m almost 78, and one day you have to take a step back,” LeFrak told the jersey journal, first reported the news on Monday night. “The next generation has to have the experience of making decisions and accepting what they do.”

LeFrack, who has Parkinson’s disease, plans to stay with the company, one of the largest apartment landlords in New York City. While appearing at the Summit real estate event in Jersey City on Monday, he did not address his decision, but he did note that the LeFrak organization began with his father, Sam LeFrak, and continues with his sons, Jamie and Harrison. He has been on the Forbes billionaires list several times.

As part of the event program, the developers sat down with real deal Publisher Amir Korangy is on the 13th floor of the Newport Building, which has built 5 million square feet of offices and more than 7,000 apartments on the Jersey City waterfront.

When Korangy asked if he had any words for politicians, LeFrak said, “Not every developer is a devil.”

He acknowledged that his company didn’t build a factory in Jersey City out of “complete altruism,” but said the city has “thrived” since it began developing the 600-acre Newport area more than 40 years ago .

Union members demonstrated outside the venue, and several managed to enter and interrupt the conversation several times. Unions have been protesting outside LeFrak’s 30 Park Lane North project, where subcontractors are accused of failing to pay workers on time.

LeFrak said he initially expected the waterfront reconstruction to take 20 years. But with 22 remaining in the Newport area, he said at least 50 are likely to be needed. His sons need an estimated 60.

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