The Real Deal New York

For family dynasties: Adapt or die

Real estate families are shaking up strategies and battling forces, like REITs and private equity, to stay relevant
By Konrad Putzier | August 06, 2015 10:05AM

From the August issue: Family real estate dynasties — from the Rockefellers to the Zeckendorfs — have been building up the Manhattan skyline since the days of John Jacob Astor back in 1799.

But in the past few decades family firms have lost their dominant stature in the industry. Over the past five years, the biggest commercial investors in New York City real estate have been SL Green Realty and Vornado Realty Trust — both publicly traded real estate investment trusts. And mega private equity firms, like the Blackstone Group, have been aggressively buying up buildings, to boot. Faced with these aggressive rivals, family firms have shed significant market share. [more]