Mapping out Stephen Ross’ South Florida conquests

At a time when developers and investors are pulling back from offices, billionaire’s Related Companies is steadfast on “Wall Street South” wager

Leaflet map created by Adam Farence | Data by © OpenStreetMap, under ODbl.

Stephen Ross thrives in tumultuous times.

The billionaire’s Related Companies has shown a propensity for pushing forward with investments and projects amid turbulent economic times, when others are inclined to pull back.

After the 9/11 terrorist attack, when buyers nixed contracts, and construction and lending froze, Related kept building New York’s AOL Time Warner Center, which has since been rechristened Deutsche Bank Center.

Two decades later, when the coronavirus pandemic struck, Related not only continued construction of its 360 Rosemary office tower in West Palm Beach, but embarked on a shopping spree that soon ranked the firm downtown’s biggest workspace landlord.

Related Companies’ Stephen Ross with One Flagler, 360 Rosemary, and 515 Fern (Getty, Related Companies)

Now, Ross is continuing his M.O.: As the Federal Reserve’s consistent interest rate hikes this year have put a damper on commercial real estate development and acquisitions, New York-based Related continues to wager on South Florida real estate.

Its next downtown West Palm development will be the firm’s seventh office project in the city, counting purchases and new construction. In Miami’s Brickell, Related has its sights set on developing an office supertall that is poised to become the state’s tallest commercial tower.

Related also has opted to beef up its affordable housing portfolio with purchases of South Florida communities.

While Ross’ continued play on the region comes as recession fears abound, his bets are on asset classes and neighborhoods that could prove resilient to a downturn. Although the tri-county region’s office investment sales have taken a nosedive, downtown West Palm and Miami’s Brickell have been prime beneficiaries of an upswing in leasing and rents. And Ross’ investment in affordable housing comes as demand could prove high amid skyrocketing market-rate rents.

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It remains to be seen if Ross’ South Florida empire withstands market turmoil. In the meantime, these are his deals in the region.

515 Fern

This fall, Related announced plans for a 25-story tower that will bring 456,000 square feet of offices and 15,000 square feet of retail to downtown West Palm.

Dubbed 515 Fern, as it’s expected to rise at 515 Fern Street, the building will be next to the Brightline passenger train station and near 360 Rosemary.

Completion is expected by 2025.

“Hedge fund tower”

No, that’s not its real name. But ask pretty much anyone familiar with downtown West Palm and they will know what you mean.

Related is developing the 25-story office building, officially called One Flagler, at the foot of the Royal Park Bridge overlooking Lake Worth Lagoon.

With completion expected in 2024, One Flagler has commanded the highest asking rents in South Florida history: between $140 per square foot and $180 per square foot.

It derives its nickname from the expectation that the tower will be a magnet for financial firms moving or expanding to South Florida. Downtown West Palm has earned its own moniker, ”Wall Street South,” for the same reason.

360 Rosemary

Related completed the 20-story 360 Rosemary tower last year.

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Larry Fink’s investment management behemoth BlackRock subleased 5,000 square feet at the building this summer.

Phillips Point


Phillips Point marked the start of Related’s downtown West Palm shopping spree.

In January of last year, the firm paid $282 million to an AEW Capital Management affiliate for the pair of office buildings at 777 South Flagler Drive and 201 Lakeview Avenue.

CityPlace Tower

Related continued its binge with the $175 million purchase of CityPlace Tower in May of last year.

The deal marked a comeback of sorts to downtown West Palm for Related. The firm co-developed CityPlace with Boca Raton-based CP Group (formerly called Crocker Partners) in 2008.

Rising 18 stories, CityPlace is at 525 Okeechobee Boulevard.

Esperanté Corporate Center

Related’s spree continued with the purchase of half of the interest for an undisclosed amount in the 20-story Esperanté Corporate Center tower at 222 Lakeview Avenue in West Palm Beach.


The purchase of a pair of buildings at 400 and 450 South Australian Avenue didn’t just mark a finale (for now) of Related’s West Palm office purchases. It also showed the firm’s market investment spilled into Class B assets.

Related, in partnership with Key International and Wexford Real Estate, paid $35 million for the property in February.

One Brickell City Centre

Related’s Ross and Swire Properties’ Kieran Bowers plan the 1,000-foot tall office tower at Miami’s Brickell City Centre mixed-use complex.

In September, Related and Swire scored a green light from Miami commissioners to build the tower with the largest floor plates likely ever approved in the city, ranging from 40,000 square feet on upper floors, to 60,000 square feet on lower floors.

Affordable housing

Related has a strong foothold in affordable housing, with a portfolio spanning more than 50,000 units valued over $5 billion, according to the company’s website.

In November, it added the Monterra apartment complex in Broward County’s Cooper City to its affordable apartment offerings. Related paid $55.5 million for the 300-unit community at 2601 Solano Avenue, or $185,000 per apartment.

More affordable rentals

Last year, Related’s affordable housing arm paid a combined $65 million for the 182-unit Saint Andrews Residence at 208 Fern Street, and the 148-unit Saint James Residence at 400 South Olive Avenue, both in West Palm.

Records show Related’s affiliates still own the apartment buildings.