CPE’s 2018 Investor of the Year

CPE's Investor of the Year is awarded in two categories—first place and honorable mention—winners were chosen by a confidential vote of their peers among our volunteer advisory board of industry leaders.

FIRST PLACE:

Brian Kingston
Senior Managing Partner, Brookfield Property Group, and CEO, Brookfield Property Partners

Brian Kingston
Brian Kingston

Chief Strategist: Kingston has been with New York- and Toronto-based Brookfield for 17 years and has been CEO for three. Prior to his current roles, Kingston was CEO of Brookfield Office Properties Australia, CEO of Prime Infrastructure and CFO of Multiplex.

Brookfield by the Numbers: Brookfield Property Group has 285 investment professionals,17,000 operating employees and 30 offices in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, the U.K. and Europe, and Asia-Pacific. Brookfield Property Group has approximately $171 billion in total real estate assets under management and is the real estate arm of Brookfield Asset Management, an alternative asset manager with more than $330 billion in assets under management.

Mega Acquisitions: Brookfield completed the acquisition of GGP for $15 billion at the end of August while also introducing its new listed U.S. REIT: Brookfield Property REIT Inc. A second blockbuster deal closed in early December with a Brookield real estate fund acquiring Forest City Realty Trust for $6.8 billion.

Strategic Dispositions: Concurrent with the closing of the GGP transaction, Brookfield sold $4.2 billion of equity in retail centers to joint-venture partners. It plans to raise as much as $2.5 billion from this portfolio over the next 18 to 24 months to further offset the GGP deal. Other sales included two fully leased Canadian office assets for C$450 million (about $342 million): Queen’s Quay Terminal in Toronto and Jean Edmonds Towers in Ottawa. And it recently disposed of its North American and European industrial business, IDI Gazeley, generating a $1.3 billion return on an original investment of $400 million.

Multifamily Growth: Brookfield’s multifamily portfolio, which is New York-centric, has grown with the recent delivery of 844-unit The Eugene at Manhattan West and 359-unit One Blue Slip in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, both luxury rental towers. It also acquired interests in Waterside Plaza, a four-tower, 1,471-unit residential complex on Manhattan’s East Side, as well as a mixed-use development site in the Bronx where it will develop a seven-tower, 1,300-unit waterfront development. In London, Brookfield has 2,500 apartments under development, including 1,100 rental units.

Core Office: FFO in the third quarter rose 8 percent over last year to $136 million, driven primarily by leasing activity in downtown New York and Washington, D.C. Total occupancy climbed 20 basis points over the same period to 92.9 percent on 2.2 million square feet of leasing. Brookfield launched the third and final phase of the Bay Adelaide Centre in Toronto. Bay Adelaide North will be anchored by Scotiabank, which is taking 420,000 square feet, or half the building.

Retail Redux: With nearly 10 million square feet of leasing executed or committed through third quarter 2018, Brookfield reports that leasing by non-traditional tenants, like Life Time Fitness, has not abated, while internet-only businesses, such as Wayfair and Warby Parker, continue to open physical stores. Space previously occupied by department stores is still being repositioned for live, work and play uses: cinemas, restaurants, entertainment venues, residential and hotels. The legacy GGP portfolio ended the quarter 95.6 percent leased.— Sibley Fleming


HONORABLE MENTION:

David Gilbert
CEO & Chief Investment Officer, Clarion Partners

David Gilbert
David Gilbert

Big Shoes: In 2017, Gilbert assumed the CEO role formerly held by co-founder Steve Furnary. He is also a member of the firm’s executive board and chairman of the investment committee. He is a member of the board of directors for Clarion Partners Holdings LLC and a member of the executive board for Clarion Partners Management. He joined Clarion in 2007 and began working in the real estate industry in 1983 at Salomon Brothers.

Lion’s share: With $48.6 billion in assets under management, Clarion Partners is an SEC-registered investment advisor and No. 1 on CPE’s list of the Top 50 Commercial Property Owners. Clarion offers equity and debt strategies in office, retail, industrial, multifamily, residential and hotel properties. While Clarion is active nationally in all property types, particularly noteworthy in 2018 was its industrial real estate transactions. For example, Clarion broke ground on a 757,900-square-foot warehouse in Shorewood, Ill., with HSA Commercial Real Estate and Phase II of Fallbrook Pines Business Park in Houston with Trammell Crow Co. Clarion announced plans to develop 652,696 square feet of warehouse space in Ocoee, Fla., and purchased a 3.8 million-square-foot, four-state industrial portfolio from The Pauls Corp. in what equated to the Denver market’s single largest industrial transaction on record. — Therese Fitzgerald

Richard Saltzman
Chairman, Colony Credit Real Estate & Northstar Realty Europe

Richard Saltzman
Richard Saltzman

Transitioning: Saltzman was president, CEO & director of Colony Capital Inc. until November 2018. That’s when Colony founder Tom Barrack stepped back into the CEO role that he gave up when his major private equity firm went public in 2014. In addition to helping take Colony Capital LLC and Colony Financial public as Colony Capital Inc., Saltzman oversaw the company’s merger with NorthStar Realty Finance and Northstar Asset Management in 2017. While his two current roles with Colony are non-executive, he is still a major shareholder in Colony Capital Inc. He joined Colony Capital LLC in 2003. Previously, he spent 24 years at Merrill Lynch, 11 years as the group head for real estate investment banking.

Bullish on Industrial: Colony Capital Inc.—which specializes in healthcare, hospitality and industrial—raised $5.2 billion in third-party capital from institutional clients through the third quarter of 2018. While Barrack has been vocal about Colony’s frustrations with its nursing home properties, the company showed a real penchant for industrial in 2018. Colony Industrial, the company’s light industrial arm, acquired 5.3 million square feet in Atlanta, San Antonio; Jacksonville, Fla.; San Leandro, Calif.; Las Vegas; Northern New Jersey; and Baltimore. Earlier in the year, the company completed its sale of global real estate investment manager and advisor The Townsend Group to Aon plc. — Therese Fitzgerald