Ed Koch, the former NYC mayor, referred to New York City as the “capital of the world” in his memoir “Mayor.” It’s no wonder that the city is a powerhouse of commercial real estate, a stage where the biggest commercial real estate landlords in NYC compete. This landscape teems with opportunities, from companies hunting for their perfect office space to shrewd investors looking for promising REITs.
NYC has endless possibilities. Owning commercial real estate in this city goes beyond flaunting prestige; it’s a solid long-term investment.
Who are these champions of the commercial real estate sector? We’ve curated a list of the biggest commercial real estate landlords in NYC who dictate not just the city’s skyline but also its real estate market. Keep reading as we uncover the details.
1. SL Green
Regarding the biggest commercial real estate landlords in NYC, SL Green reigns supreme. This company, founded in 1997 by Stephen L. Green, has taken giant strides in the city’s real estate market.
Fast forward to present times. SL Green’s portfolio boasts interests in 77 buildings, translating to an impressive 35.3 million square feet. Focusing primarily on Manhattan, it holds ownership interests in 27.1 million square feet of commercial real estate buildings. On top of that, it owns 7.4 million square feet underpinned by debt and preferred equity investments.
SL Green’s collection features some of the city’s most recognized structures. One Vanderbilt, the Graybar Building, and Worldwide Plaza, to name a few. Other notable buildings include the Pershing Square Building, One Astor Plaza, The News Building, and 245 Park Avenue.
2. Vornado Realty Trust
Let’s turn our attention to another titan among the biggest commercial real estate landlords in NYC: Vornado Realty Trust. Founded in Maryland in 1982, Vornado transformed in 1993, converting into a REIT. This move cemented its standing in the real estate industry.
Currently, Vornado’s impressive portfolio spans 33 buildings, adding up to a whopping 20.6 million square feet of Manhattan office space. Additionally, the company manages 65 properties, offering 2.7 million square feet of retail space.
Vornado’s holdings are a who’s who of prestigious NYC addresses. From 1290 Avenue of the Americas to One Park Avenue. Even 666 Fifth Avenue, One and Two Penn Plaza, and the luxe residential tower at 220 Central Park South are under its wing. But the company’s influence extends beyond New York City, owning a 70% stake in San Francisco’s 555 California Street and the colossal 3.7-million-square-foot Mart in Chicago.
3. Related Companies
Dive into the portfolio of The Related Companies, another powerful player among the biggest commercial real estate landlords in NYC. Established in 1972, The Related Companies has since earned a sterling reputation as a commercial landlord and in the residential sector.
One of the company’s landmark achievements is the mammoth Hudson Yards project. Carried out in partnership with Oxford Properties, The Related Companies now presides over managing 20, 30, 50, and 55 Hudson Yards.
The company’s impressive roster of developments continues beyond there. They’re the force behind the Deutsche Bank Center, formerly known as the Time Warner Center, the Paragon Building, the Blanchard Building, and 300 Lafayette Street. This portfolio further underscores The Related Companies’ standing as reportedly the top residential landlord in New York City.
4. Tishman Speyer
Get acquainted with Tishman Speyer, a significant player among the biggest commercial real estate landlords in NYC. Robert Tishman and Jerry Speyer formed this power duo in 1978 and have been making waves ever since.
They are famously known for developing the Rockefeller Center in Midtown Manhattan. Yet, they have quite the eclectic portfolio beyond that, encompassing the MetLife Building at 200 Park Avenue, 300 Park Avenue, the Hearst Tower, 175 Varick Street, and the CitySpire Center at 150-156 West 56th Street.
Interestingly, their expertise extends beyond commercial properties. They were behind developing the new Yankee Stadium in the Bronx and are bringing Bjarke Ingels’ The Spiral to life at Hudson Yards. They also spearheaded significant new developments in Long Island City, such as The JACX and Jackson Park.
Another fun fact? Tishman previously owned the iconic Chrysler Building until selling it in 2019 for $150 million.
5. The Durst Organization
Meet The Durst Organization. One of the biggest commercial real estate landlords in NYC, it’s been the oldest family-run real estate company in NYC since 1915. Under Douglas Durst’s direction, this organization owns and manages over 13 million square feet of premium retail and office space in Manhattan, along with 3 million square feet of rental properties.
Their influence has helped shape Midtown East into an essential business district. They’ve developed notable skyscrapers like 825, 675, 733, and 655 Third Avenue. Ever heard of the first green skyscraper in the U.S., Four Times Square? That’s Durst Organization’s contribution to sustainable architecture.
They were also at the forefront of constructing One Bryant Park. But their crowning achievement might be their role in co-developing One World Trade Center, a symbol of resilience, alongside the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Their commitment to architectural innovation and sustainable practices sets them apart.
6. Boston Properties
Enter Boston Properties, a force among the biggest commercial real estate landlords in NYC. Established in 1970 with its roots in Boston, it spread its wings to own several well-known properties in the Big Apple.
Look at their portfolio, and you’ll find impressive addresses: 510 Madison Avenue, 599 Lexington Avenue, the Times Square Tower, and 601 Lexington, to name a few. Count up their holdings, and you’ll find 26 properties under their management, amassing a remarkable 11.8 million square feet.
Back in 2008, Boston Properties was fearless in making moves. They splashed out $2.8 billion to acquire the General Motors Building, breaking records for the highest price ever paid for a U.S. office building at the time. Quite the statement during an uncertain time like the Financial Crisis.
7. Rudin Management Company
Among the biggest commercial real estate landlords in NYC, Rudin Management Company stands tall. Born in 1925 from the collective efforts of Samuel Rudin and his siblings, it has blossomed into a real estate titan over the decades.
Their NYC portfolio is strong. When listing their properties, names like 55 Broad Street, 3 Times Square, 80 Pine Street, 110 Wall Street, 345 Park Avenue, 845 Third Avenue, 560 Lexington Avenue, and 1675 Broadway come to mind easily. Dig deeper, and you’ll discover a staggering 33 properties under Rudin’s management.
Their reach continues beyond commercial properties. Residential buildings? They’ve got 17, amounting to 4.7 million square feet. And their 16 commercial office buildings? A whopping 10.5 million square feet.
8. Silverstein Properties
When you say “biggest commercial real estate landlords in NYC,” it’s hard to skip Silverstein Properties. Born in 1957, this company has a footprint as broad as the city itself, with a hand in developing, owning, and managing over 40 million square feet of diverse real estate.
Their portfolio tells a captivating story, studded with notable structures like the Americas Tower and 30 Park Place, also known as the Four Seasons Private Residences New York Downtown. But don’t let the glitz overshadow their contributions to Wall Street – 120 Wall Street, the Salmon, Beekman, and Equitable Buildings all stand tall under their banner, along with 1177 Avenue of the Americas.
9. RXR Realty
In the fast-paced world of New York commercial real estate, RXR Realty made quite the entrance. Founded in 2007, it quickly climbed the ranks to become one of NYC’s most significant investors, establishing a formidable presence in a relatively short time.
Today, their influence is apparent across the city skyline. Think about the Starrett-Lehigh Building or 75 Rockefeller Plaza – these iconic structures bear the RXR stamp. Moreover, their impressive portfolio includes 32 Old Slip, 61 Broadway, the Helmsley Building, 5 Times Square, and 450 Lexington Avenue.
In addition, they’re laying the foundations for the future, developing 300,000 square feet of office space at Pier 57 in West Side Manhattan. With the management of 26.5 million square feet of NYC properties and the operation of 7,100 multifamily units, RXR Realty is undeniably a key player among the biggest commercial real estate landlords in NYC.
10. Brookfield Properties
Last but not least, we have Brookfield Properties. Established in Canada in 1923, this heavyweight operates real estate projects for Brookfield Asset Management. Look around New York City; their footprint is everywhere, managing 675 properties and a whopping 320 million square feet globally.
The NYC skyline’s dotted with Brookfield-owned landmarks. These range from 1100 Avenue of the Americas, 200 Lafayette Street, 300 Madison Avenue to 333 West 34th Street, 200 Liberty Street, and 245 Park Avenue. Not to mention Brookfield Place and Zuccotti Park, the famous retreat in the Financial District, is also under their ownership.
Their portfolio continues to expand. Projects such as 1 Manhattan West and 5 Manhattan West are underway on Manhattan’s West Side. Big names like the NHL, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, and Ernst & Young have already inked their lease agreements with Brookfield.
The Key Takeaway
Dominating the skyline and driving the economy, these ten real estate giants are the driving force behind NYC’s commercial real estate market. Their ongoing projects and steadfast competition signify a promising future for the city. They command a substantial share of the city’s square footage as key players, shaping NYC’s real estate narrative and leaving an indelible mark. As the city evolves, so does the role of these powerhouses, making it an attractive landscape for local and global investors.
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