As Michael Turner — the Oxford exec tapped to succeed Blake Hutcheson — tells it, the firm could not have done the St. John’s deal five years ago.
“We wouldn’t have had the ability to either do this or have the confidence [back then],” he said during a sit-down on the ninth floor of company’s Park Avenue offices last month. “But we can today.”
But since teaming up with Related, it’s been building out its shop in New York.
For example, Oxford’s headquarters at 450 Park Avenue are located in one of three Manhattan office buildings the company has snapped up with Crown Acquisitions since 2012.
When Oxford teamed up with Related to bid for Hudson Yards in 2010, the company’s New York real estate portfolio was valued at $0. Today it clocks in $12.8 billion, according to Real Capital Analytics.
Turner, who is based in Toronto and will oversee Oxford’s global platform, said Hudson Yards was something of a master’s course in New York development.
“If you rewind the clock to when we opened this office in 2008, we had two guys and a backpack and an idea and a dream,” he said. “[We] got to build out that execution capability at a time when you could make more mistakes, but it didn’t really cost you as much.”
Those two guys were Neil Jacob, the Boston-based head of Oxford’s U.S. operations, and Andrew Trickett, a former vice president for investments at Deutsche Bank.
But the St. John’s acquisition will be Trickett’s swan song with Oxford. He’s leaving to oversee the U.S. investment platform for the Dubai investment firm Safanad.
He’ll be replaced by Kevin Egan, who runs Oxford’s debt business, which has grown substantially in Manhattan in the last eight years. It holds mezzanine positions in properties like the Crown Building, where an unidentified buyer is in contract to buy a penthouse for a record-shattering $180 million.
The others on Oxford’s bench include Dean Shapiro, a CBRE veteran, who will oversee operations in New York, and former Boston Properties exec Adam Frazier, who heads leasing.
Shapiro said Oxford is still looking to fill several key positions as it prepares to break ground on St. John’s.
“We have a lot of resources here now,” he said. “But as we continue to grow, I think we’ll continue to hire and build out sort of a proper development platform.”