#4 Real Estate Who are NYC’s most active developers? The Real Deal ranked the top...

    Who are NYC’s most active developers? The Real Deal ranked the top 10

    The companies behind two mega-developments on Manhattan’s far West Side are the city’s busiest developers — and will likely remain so for the next few years.

    The companies behind two mega-developments on Manhattan’s far West Side are the city’s busiest developers — and will likely remain so for the next few years.

    Related Companies and Brookfield Property Partners are the top two most active developers in the city in terms of the scale of their ongoing projects. Related and Brookfield are respectively being kept busy by their massive mixed-use projects, Hudson Yards and Manhattan West.

    The Real Deal compiled a list of the city’s busiest developers of new construction, based on building permits issued by the Department of Buildings. Only projects with active permits that have not yet been issued a temporary certificate of occupancy (TCO) as of Dec.19 were included. Alterations were not included in developers’ total square footages or project counts.

    Here are the top 10 most active developers by square footage, as represented in DOB filings.

    1. Related Companies

    Square footage: 6 million

    Number of projects: 9

    Related’s largest ongoing project is 415 10th Avenue, better known as 50 Hudson Yards, better known as 55 Hudson Yards.

    2. Brookfield Property Partners

    Square footage: 4 million

    Number of projects: 4

    Brookfield’s largest ongoing project is One Manhattan West, a 2 million-square–foot-plus office tower on Ninth Avenue. The building is one of six planned in Brookfield’s Manhattan West megadevelopment, adjacent to Related’s Hudson Yards. The developer’s second-largest ongoing project is Two Manhattan West, a 1.7 million square foot office tower next door.

    3. Tishman Speyer

    Square footage: 3.5 million

    Number of projects: 2

    Tishman has two massive office towers under construction: the Spiral at 66 Hudson Boulevard in Long Island City. The former, which is designed by the Bjarke Ingels Group, is the developer’s biggest ongoing project at 2.2 million square feet. The tower, named for its shape, is anchored by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. In the days leading up to Amazon announcing the location of its new headquarters, some had speculated that the JACX was in the running to house the tech giant. Tishman’s Rob Speyer, however, noted after the announcement that the 1.7 million-square-foot tower was already 75 percent leased.

    4. Hudson Companies

    Square footage: 1.9 million

    Number of projects: 10

    Hudson Companies has developments spread throughout the Bronx, Brooklyn and Manhattan. The biggest of its projects is a 330,000-plus-square-foot apartment building at 600 Bergen Avenue, is the eighth building in the Riverwalk rental complex, which will eventually feature nine buildings.

    5. Extell Development

    Square footage: 1.8 million

    Number of projects: 4

    Gary Barnett has some ambitious projects up his sleeve. His firm’s Central Park Tower will rise more than 1,000 feet tall and span more than 866,000 square feet. The luxury condominium tower on Billionaires’ Row has a projected sellout of $4 billion. The 179 condominiums will range in size from 1,435 square feet to 17,500 square feet. The developer’s second-largest active project is Brooklyn Point, a 68-story condo building in Downtown Brooklyn, which is expected to be more than 680,000 square feet. Elsewhere, Extell has a couple of smaller residential projects in Manhattan.

    6. GID Development Group

    Square footage: 1.6 million

    Number of projects: 3
    Boston-based GID’s ongoing projects in New York City are all part of the company’s Waterline Square development on the Upper West Side. Of the three condo towers, Two Waterline Square at 400 West 61st Street will be the largest with 880,994 square feet. The developer is aiming for a $1.15 billion sellout for the complex’s 263 condo units.

    7. United Construction and Development Group

    Square footage: 1.5 million

    Number of projects: 6

    All of United’s active projects are in Queens. The developer’s biggest is a condo project at 23-15 44th Drive in Long Island City, which is expected to span 780,677 square feet. The 802-unit tower has $1 billion projected sellout, which is reportedly a record for the borough. In July, the Chris Jiashu Xu-led company scored a $502 million construction loan for the project.

    8. SL Green Realty

    Square footage: 1.49 million

    Number of projects: 2

    In October 2016, SL Green broke ground on One Vanderbilt, its 1,400-plus-foot tall office tower next to Grand Central Terminal. At last check, the building — marketed as 1.7 million square feet but has 1.3 million square feet in rentable space (which is the figure used for this ranking) — was 52 percent pre-leased. Its tenants include TD Bank, the bank’s investment-banking arm, MFA Financial and McDermot Will & Emery. The real estate investment trust’s other active project is a 35-story apartment building at 185 Broadway in the Financial District.

    9. F&T Group

    Square footage: 1.4 million

    Number of projects: 4

    F&T Group’s only active project is Two Fulton Square, a 1.4-million-square-foot mixed-use development in Willets Point, Queens. The largest of the four buildings — 133-36 37th Avenue — is a two-tower complex that is expected to span 681,218 square feet. The developer plans to include more than 200 condo units and more than 200 hotel rooms, as well as office space, in that complex.

    10. Two Trees Development

    Square footage: 1.2 million

    Number of projects: 3

    Two Trees Development is also just focused on one active project at the moment: the redevelopment of the Domino Sugar refinery. The largest of the buildings in the 11-acre complex in Williamsburg is 280 Kent Avenue, a nearly 786,000-square-foot office and apartment building. The developer has three separate job filings for the project.

    11. TF Cornerstone

    Square footage: 1.19 million

    Number of projects: 3

    TF Cornerstone is working on two residential towers on Center Boulevard as part of its Hunters Point South complex. The larger of the two at 52-03 Center Boulevard in Long Island City for the city Department of Transportation, which is relocating to make way for Amazon’s new headquarters. TF Cornerstone is also developing a portion of the company’s new headquarter, though plans have not yet been filed.

    Correction: Due to an issue in a data pull, the original ranking did not include GID. The company’s projects have since been added, putting the developer in the No. 6 spot. 

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    New York real estate is solely responsible for the net worth of many of the wealthiest people in the world. We’re talking billionaires only club here. In addition to that, there are many many more gigantic billionaire developers than just the few people mentioned in this article. Notice how Trump is not even on the list. Most of New York’s billionaire developers stay anonymous. They fly under the radar. And many of them have been doing this for decades. Again, this article is just the 10 biggest projects going on right now.

    It’s not a list of the 10 biggest landlords. In New York it’s not uncommon for an old real estate family to literally own thousands of rental units worth billions of dollars. Then you have your next level of ultra wealthy real estate people in New York who may only own a few hundred rental units. (In New York, depending on what part of town, the size of the units, etc. that could be enough units for someone to be worth 2 to 3 hundred million.)

    What about the people in New York who own commercial property? Like office skyscrapers, etc.? Such as Larry Silverstein, who just completed the World Trade Center a few years ago in downtown Manhattan, along with a bunch more apartment towers he just built on the West side of Midtown and his name isn’t even on the list. This is just to show the sheer magnitude of the massive real estate wealth in New York City alone. If you were to go into any other city across the country, it’s the same structure of wealth. The numbers just get a little smaller. But make no mistake about it. Real estate makes billionaires and millionaires every single day.

    What are you waiting for?


    About The Author

    Robert Annenberg
    Robert Annenberg
    Robert Louis Annenberg Is a 40 year seasoned property owner, manager, investor, builder/developer and business man who is also an author of five published books to date (Amazon.com) and the chief editor of LifeQuestJournal.com. He can be reached at: [email protected] and (201) 289-2500.