NYC’s 10 most active developers (actually, one is a bank)

Once again, Related and Brookfield topped the list

TRD NEW YORK /
Dec.December 18, 2019 07:00 AM
From left: Brookfield CEO Bruce Flatt, Related Chairman Steve Ross, L+M Development CEO Ron Moelis with Hudson Yards and One Manhattan West (Credit: Getty Images, iStock)

From left: Brookfield CEO Bruce Flatt, Related Chairman Steve Ross, L+M Development CEO Ron Moelis with Hudson Yards and One Manhattan West (Credit: Getty Images, iStock)

Related Companies had a busy 2019. The developer, along with partner Oxford Properties Group, opened the first phase of the 28-acre Hudson Yards.

Related also inked massive leases with Facebook, which is taking 1.5 million square feet of office space across 30 floors in three buildings — 30, 50 and 55 Hudson Yards. As with last year, Related’s work at Hudson Yards has made it the most active developer of 2019.

To get a sense of which 10 developers are doing the most in the city, The Real Deal used Department of Buildings data to rank them based on volume of work underway and total square footage of those projects. One non-developer — a bank — cracked the list.

1) Related Companies
Square feet: 3.5 million
Project count: 5

Earlier this year, Related hosted a grand opening for its $25 billion megaproject, Hudson Yards. The occasion marked the completion of the first portion of the largest private development in U.S. history. The developer is at work on the second phase, along with an office building at 415 10th Avenue, better known as 50 Hudson Yards. At a planned 2.2 million square feet (marketed as 2.9 million), the project is Related’s largest active undertaking. In November, the developer announced that Facebook had agreed to take 1.2 million square feet in the tower.

2) Brookfield
Square feet: 3.1 million
Project count: 5

Near Hudson Yards, Brookfield’s own massive development is starting to take shape. The firm’s largest project this year was One Manhattan West, an office building at 375 Ninth Avenue that spans roughly 2 million square feet. The tower officially opened in October, and its tenants include the National Hockey League, Accenture and law firm Skadden Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

3) L+M Development Partners
Square feet: 3 million
Project count: 9

L+M’s 575 Exterior Street is part of the multi-acre Bronx Point development, which the company is co-developing with Type A Projects. The 23-story, 542-unit, mixed-use building is expected to span more than 550,000 square feet, with roughly 424,000 square feet of residential, 73,000 square feet of commercial and 60,000 square feet of community space. More than 1,000 housing units are planned for Bronx Point, along with the Universal Hip-Hop Museum, a multiplex theater, educational space and a food hall.

4) United Construction and Development Group
Square feet: 2.4 million
Project count: 7

At 778 feet, United’s Skyline Tower in Long Island City is expected to be the tallest building outside Manhattan for a time. The project, which is also being developed by Hong Kong developer Risland Holdings, spans 780,844 square feet. It will have more than 800 condo units with a combined price tag of more than $1 billion. The tower appears to be United’s largest under construction. Hong Kong developer Risland Holdings is a partner on the project. In 2016, the company paid $64.9 million for a development site at 131-01 Roosevelt Avenue in Flushing. Plans for four mixed-use towers on the site were filed back in 2008, but nothing appears to have happened at the site since.

5) Extell Development
Square feet: 2.3 million
Project count: 4

Extell’s Central Park Tower at 217 West 57th Street has been raking in the superlatives. When completed, the building will rise 1,775 feet, making it the city’s tallest residential building. With a projected sellout of $4 billion, the tower is also the most expensive condominium project in the city’s history. Sales launched in October 2018. As with its other properties, Extell has rolled out buyer incentives, including paying 50 percent of broker commissions upfront.

6) Tishman Speyer
Square feet: 2.2 million
Project count: 1

The Bjarke Ingels-designed office building at 509 West 34th Street, dubbed “the Spiral,” propelled Tishman Speyer to third place in last year’s ranking, but the developer fell three spots this year. The office tower is expected to span 2.2 million square feet (marketed as 2.8 million) and is the only new building that Tishman Speyer is working on, according to DOB filings. Last year Pfizer agreed to take 800,000 square feet in the building.

7) JPMorgan Chase
Square feet: 1.9 million
Project count: 1

The bank is rebuilding its headquarters at 270 Park Avenue in Midtown East. It is in the process of demolishing the existing tower, which will be replaced by a larger one (marketed as 2.5 million square feet). In May the City Council approved JPMorgan’s plans for its new headquarters, which will rise 1,400 feet and 70 stories. The company ultimately plans to consolidate employees who are working out of multiple locations.

8) TF Cornerstone
Square feet: 1.8 million
Project count: 4

TF Cornerstone’s two largest ongoing projects are affordable-housing towers in its Hunters Point South development. The larger one, at 52-03 Center Boulevard, is expected to span 776,624 square feet and have 800 apartments. The second, at 52-41 Center Boulevard, is to have 400 apartments across 384,000 square feet. In January the city provided a roughly $700 million financing package for the towers.

9) SL Green
Square feet: 1.6 million
Project count: 3

Last year SL Green fell just short of ranking among the top 10 most active developers. This year the real estate investment trust is only working on slightly more square footage but crept into the No. 9 spot thanks mostly to One Vanderbilt in Midtown East, an office tower that will span well over 1 million square feet (the tower is marketed as 1.6 million square feet). The building topped out in September and — at 1,401 feet— will be the tallest office tower in Midtown.

10) Durst Organization
Square feet: 1.4 million
Project count: 7

The Durst Organization’s largest ongoing project is Queens Plaza Park, a 978,000-square-foot tower with 958 rental apartments.The developer purchased the Long Island City site for $173.5 million in 2016.

SOURCE: TRD analysis of Dept. of Buildings data for jobs that have yet to receive an initial temporary certificate of occupancy as of December 2019. Firms were contacted with data, not all responded.


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