Blackstone Partners with Former DDR CEO

It didn’t take former DDR CEO Dan Hurwitz long to find a new position. Barely a month after leaving the shopping center REIT, Hurwitz will be partnering with Blackstone’s retail real estate portfolio companies.
Nadeem Meghji

Nadeem Meghji, Blackstone

It didn’t take former DDR CEO Dan Hurwitz long at all to find a new position. Barely a month after leaving that shopping center REIT, reportedly by mutual agreement, Hurwitz will be partnering with Blackstone’s retail real estate portfolio companies in the United States, Blackstone announced Wednesday. Hurwitz will partner with Blackstone through Raider Hill Advisors, an entity he recently formed.

Hurwitz is being brought in to lend his expertise to Blackstone’s retail portfolio, Nadeem Meghji, a senior managing director in Blackstone’s Real Estate Group, told Commercial Property Executive. “His knowledge of the asset class will be hugely valuable to us.”

The partnership does not signal a change of direction for Blackstone’s retail side, said Meghji, who noted that since 2011 Blackstone has invested $17 billion just in retail in the United States, involving more than 850 shopping centers.

Hurwitz is a graduate of Colgate University and the Wharton School of Business Management Program at the University of Pennsylvania. He worked in various executive and management roles in the retail and shopping center industry with Boscov’s Department Stores Inc. and The Shopco Group.

Hurwitz joined DDR, then known as Developers Diversified Realty Corp., in 1999 as executive vice president of leasing and rose to become its CEO in January 2010.
As DDR’s CEO, Hurwitz oversaw major joint ventures with Blackstone, including the $1.4 billion purchase of the 10.6 million-square-foot, 46-property EDT Retail Portfolio from EPN Group in 2012 and the June 2014 acquisition of a 16.4 million-square-foot portfolio of 76 shopping centers from American Realty Capital Properties Inc., for nearly $2 billion.

It was thus rather a shock last September when DDR announced that it and Hurwitz would be parting ways at year’s end, about a year before his employment agreement was to expire. Beyond the customary pleasantries, both parties were tight-lipped about the reason(s) behind the move.

Though Blackstone had had contact with Hurwitz for some years prior, Meghji told CPE, it was around 2012 that the company began to have a strong working relationship with him, and that ultimately led to this new partnership.