Howard Ronson was a prolific New York office developer

Howard Ronson, the New York based developer cousin of Heron chief executive, Gerald Ronson has died aged 63.

The property developer and chairman of the HRO Group died last week. A director at his company confirmed that cancer was the cause of death.

Born in London on May 28 1943, Ronson joined his family’s residential and commercial property firm in the 1960s before paving his own way to become one of the first pan-European developers, working in France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.

In 1979 he had turned his attentions to American and became well known in New York as one of Manhattan’s most prolific office space developers.

He set up his company HRO International in America and, since 1980, the group has built 12 office towers, with about 5.5 million square feet of space, in Manhattan. Among them are the 33-story Tower 56 on East 56th Street; 380 Madison Avenue, which is between 46th and 47th Streets and has 26 floors; and the 30-story Broad Financial Center on Whitehall Street.

After the property crash in the late 80s Ronson rebuilt HRO’s presence in Paris in the 1990s and went on to develop 19 major projects across Europe.

Ronson died in Monaco on March 21. He is survived by his wife, the former Angelika Ivanc; two daughters, Gisele and Livia; Manhattan-based stepson, Stanley Shashoua and sister Benita Refson.