Nearly 100 years after the company was founded as a family-owned lumber business, Forest City Realty Trust — owner of millions of square feet of real estate across the country — has once again gone private.
Brookfield Asset Management officially closed on its $6.8 billion purchase of the real estate investment trust on Friday. In New York City, Brookfield will be taking over 4.8 million square feet of office space from Forest City, and more than 2,500 apartments. Forest City was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange at the close of business on Friday.
Last Wednesday, Ric Clark, senior managing partner of Brookfield Asset Management and chairman of Brookfield Property Group, announced that the sale was expected to close by the end of the week. The deal, he said, makes Brookfield the city’s largest commercial landlord, with 26.1 million square feet under management. According to data from Crain’s, the next biggest commercial landlords are RXR Realty at 24.6 million square feet under management, SL Green Realty at 23.9 million square feet, Vornado Realty Trust at 23.5 million square feet and Tishman Speyer at 18.3 million square feet.
Over the last two years, Forest City has undergone a series of major changes. Since becoming a real estate investment trust in January 2016, the company began moving away from ground-up development. Forest City’s board also further decreased control of the company by the Ratners, the family that founded the company in the 1920s. Earlier this year, the REIT sold all but 5 percent of its remaining interest in the megadevelopment, Pacific Park, to partner Greenland USA. After announcing in March that the company had decided against selling itself, Forest City did a 180 and accepted a new bid from Brookfield, valued at $11.4 billion when taking debt into account.