W.P. Carey founder dies at age 81

William Polk Carey, an entrepreneur who founded New York-based investment management firm W.P. Carey & Co., died yesterday at the Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Fla. of natural causes, aged 81, the New York Observer reported.

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Carey, whose company paid $225 million for 21 floors at the New York Times Building at 620 Eighth Avenue under a sale-leaseback arrangement in 2009, agreed to lease the space to the newspaper for up to 15 years, the Observer said. The company he leaves behind has 1,000 commercial and industrial properties under management — totaling 120 million square feet — in North America, Europe and Asia — and currently has $12 billion in assets.

“Bill was unwavering in his devotion to our shareholders, and he was especially proud that we have been able to provide increasing income to them, while providing our tenant companies with the capital that allowed them to grow their business and prosper,” said Trevor Bond, CEO of W.P. Carey & Co., in a statement to the Observer. [NYO]