Top real estate development firms

Who would rank as the top real estate development firms in the US? I know it tends to vary by stats but overall which firms control the most market share.

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Comments (37)

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May 9, 2020 - 11:56am

Lord knows WSO loves ranking lists..... but seriously, given that developers tend to focus on both markets and property types, how would you even start something like this?

I mean is really fair to rank a multifamily developer vs. an office developer? Or a NY area focused one like RXR vs. a CA but semi-nationally focused one like CIM Group?

Interested in seeing where this thread goes................

May 9, 2020 - 12:09pm

The first two firms that come to mind are Related and Brookfield. This may be biased as I reside in the new york area. Both these firms develop commercial, multi family, and offices. I'm curious to see what others think and if there are larger companies with a presence in different states.

May 9, 2020 - 12:22pm
  1. Stop.

  2. Trying.

  3. To.

  4. Rank.

  5. Everything.

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May 9, 2020 - 2:12pm

Historically the top dev firms are: Hines, Related, Brookfield, Tishman Speyer, Trammel Crow.

Clearly quarantine has made you extraordinarily lazy but the above are usually common knowledge

May 9, 2020 - 4:18pm

Yes but which M7 program will get me there??

“Doesn't really mean shit plebby boi. LMK when you're pulling thiccboi cheques.“ — @m_1
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May 12, 2020 - 4:33pm

You see, it really boils down to a ranking. In this Ted Talk I will explor…

“Doesn't really mean shit plebby boi. LMK when you're pulling thiccboi cheques.“ — @m_1
May 9, 2020 - 2:39pm

In case you don't want click the link (and clearly I'm bored on a Saturday...), here is the list of all firms referenced from the comments:

Trammell Crow
Tishman Speyer
Boston Properties
Crescent Communities
Avalon Bay
Post Properties
Childress Klein
Jay Paul Company
Duke Realty
Toll Brothers
Mill Creek

May 11, 2020 - 9:37am

While I agree with most of these, it's worth mentioning that "Good PR" and "Good Development Shop" aren't the same thing, and there are a TON of real estate developers who sing their own praises/have others do it for them (looking at you, Nate Paul) while not doing particularly well. And there are plenty more who are out there doing awesome deals on a large scale who don't want to be in the press, so you never hear of them.

May 11, 2020 - 9:55am

"Good PR" and "Good Development Shop" aren't the same thing, and there are a TON of real estate developers who sing their own praises/have others do it for them

So true! I also think quality of project, innovation in design, and overall contribution to the city is worthwhile (personal bias for sure). Size is a lousy measurement for development. Lot's of people would leave the 'big name shop' for a more boutique, smaller developer in a heartbeat. Why it's silly to try and 'rank'.

The most anyone should take from these list of names is a list to search for job openings if that is the goal.

May 10, 2020 - 4:18am

In my NYC focused opinion and in no particular order:

Silverstein Properties
TF Cornerstone
SL Green
Fisher Brothers
United Construction and Development
Two Trees
L&M Development
Avalon Bay
JDS Development
Toll Brothers

May 11, 2020 - 3:09pm

"Spot the one that doesn't belong."


You could make a strong argument that L&M is the odd man out here - as far as I know they're the only active primarily-affordable shop on the list. Related and LeFrak have tons of legacy assets but don't seem to do much with them.

And I know this is going into way more detail than you intended, but JDS could also be singled out as the one firm on here (I think) that hasn't actually survived a recession/market downturn. I mean, they're definitely going under at some point. Stern just puts all his chips on 00 and spins the roulette wheel - he got lucky that the first deal he did hit (Walker Tower); everything since then has ranged from cool but probably no profitable (American Copper) to outright disaster (111 W 57th)

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