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A Giant in an Era of Mega-Developments

In-depth reporting on the history and present of Related Cos., the developer of several of the largest mega-developments in the United States.
August 1, 2019, 6am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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The Vessel

From Chicago to New York to Los Angeles to the Silicon Valley and more, various wings of the Related Cos. are developing some of the most ambitious, most expensive, and most conspicuous projects in the country.

Patrick Sisson writes of the confluence of factors that have brought the development market to this moment to preview the role of Related in it all:

More than a decade into the current economic cycle, demand for downtown real estate hasn’t abated. Since most of the easily developable land has been bought and sold many times over, cities and developers have been giving more complicated locations a second look.

The remaining areas ripe for redevelopment—such as waterfronts, rail yards, and huge abandoned industrial sites—are generally in prime locations and well-connected from an infrastructure perspective. But developing them requires expertise, capital, and planning. It requires being able to wait out years of approvals and planning meetings and navigate bureaucracy, to think big and master plan entire new neighborhoods, and to risk money for what can be a decade-long process.

With those complications in mind, Sisson places the Related Cos. at the center of the entire historical moment, with massive projects like Hudson Yards in New York City and The 78 in Chicago. "Owned by Stephen Ross, whose net worth is pegged at $7.7 billion by Forbes, Related, and its wide array of domestic and international divisions, has over $50 billion in real estate assets," according to Sisson, who provides a history of Ross and the company while also detailing some of the signature projects in the company's portfolio, and their potential to impact the cities where they'll be built.

Full Story:
Published on Tuesday, July 30, 2019 in Curbed
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