The Biggest Commercial Real Estate Owners
Without a doubt, commercial real estate (CRE) is a multi-billion dollar industry. This sector includes office buildings, hotels, strip malls, restaurants, retailers, gas stations, and other non-residential properties. Across the globe, there are a handful of companies that control these assets. The companies own and manage hundreds of millions of square feet of commercial real estate. In this article, we look at some of the biggest commercial real estate owners in the world. We also present a table which details each company’s holdings.
One of the major keys for a successful commercial real estate investment is an attentive real estate operation. If an ownership group isn’t attentive to tenants’ needs, the property could suffer. At the same time, size can be detrimental to quality management. For example, as a group’s portfolio size increases, a building’s tenant gets a smaller percentage of the owner’s attention.
The Blackstone Group
Almost 40 years after its founding, Blackstone is the largest owner of office properties in the US with over 150 million square feet of office space including the Willis Tower in Chicago (the former Sears Tower). The group also owns over 300 million square feet of retail, industrial and residential space. Since Blackstone went public in 2007, it has quadrupled in size. Its real estate division has grown from a $17.7 billion venture to a $100 billion portfolio. According to BizNow, the firm has spent over $50 billion on real estate deals since 2009. In 2015 alone, the group closed a real estate fund worth around $16 billion, taking the crown of ‘Largest Real Estate Owner in the World.’ Business Insider even goes so far as to call Steve Schwarzman, Blackstone’s Chairman and CEO, ‘America’s landlord.’
Founded in 1983, Prologis owns and manages over 660 million square feet of CRE along with 7,400 acres of land in 20 countries. The company focuses on industrial properties near transportation hubs and has invested heavily near interstates, major highways, airports and seaports. Prologis owns and manages approximately 3,000 logistics and distribution facilities around the world. By specializing in the supply-chain, the company provides its clients with a number of connected solutions. Apart from owning properties, Prologis also pursues environmental sustainability, leading it to produce yearly Sustainability Reports. The company has also installed rooftop solar panels on many of its properties.
Simon Property Group
Fortune magazine has named Simon ‘the most admired company in real estate’ eight times. In contrast to Prologis, the company focuses on completely different aspects of CRE. Formed in 1993 from the shopping center interests of Melvin Simon & Associates, the Simon Property Group now owns 229 shopping malls and shopping centers around the world totaling 190 million square feet. Many of these are high-end shopping destinations such as Woodbury Commons in New York and The Forum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
Duke Realty Corp
Even though this company is focused only on the U.S. market, it is still one of the biggest CRE owners in the world. Overall, Duke specializes in healthcare and industrial properties. Specifically, it has almost 140 million square feet of commercial real estate, both completed and under development. Since 2009, the company has scaled back its office space holdings and to focus on the modern supply chain by strengthening its ties with e-commerce businesses.
General Growth Properties
Founded by Martin and Matthew Bucksbaum in 1954, this shopping mall and retail operator holds over 130 properties comprising almost 130 million square feet of CRE. General Growth Properties operates 100 of the top 500 malls in the US including Ala Moana Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, the world’s largest open-air shopping mall. Apart from merely owning property, the company takes sustainability issues seriously, focusing on responsible energy consumption and reducing water in its malls. As a result, it has been awarded the Green Star by the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark.
Total Holdings of Each Company
|Company Name||Square Footage Owned and Managed|
|The Blackstone Group|
|Simon Property Group|
|Duke Realty Corp|
|General Growth Properties|
Information courtesy of VTS (http://blog.vts.com/top-5-commercial-real-estate-owners) and Wikipedia.
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