It’s easier to buy a home when you understand your market inside and out. That means not just neighborhoods and price points, but the developers who are making real estate moves that impact the entire industry. NYC’s Related Companies Development is one such major player. On top of being a major global developer, they are also, at this point, the city’s biggest landlord with over 8,000 residential rental units. The firm was founded by Stephen M. Ross and is led by CEO Jeff T. Blau.
You may have come across a building developed by Related Companies Development in your home search, or maybe you’ve just noticed their name in headlines and conversations with agents. The truth is, it’s hard to look for a new development in New York City without knowing who they are — especially if that new development is on the far west side of Manhattan.
Let’s get to know NYC’s biggest landlord so you know more about their listings, background, and projects across the city.
What Is NYC’s Related Companies Development Firm?
NYC’s Related Companies Development is one of the biggest firms in the city. They also hold offices around the world, in cities like San Fransisco, Chicago, Abu Dhabi, London, and Shanghai. Their team is made up of more than 3,000 employees, they own over 8,000 rental units across New York City, and manage $4 billion of equity capital.
Related is the name behind famous mixed-use spaces like the Time Warner Center in New York City’s Columbus Circle, the Bronx Terminal Market, and the new, famously sprawling Hudson Yards development that stretches over parts of Manhattan’s Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen neighborhoods.
Where did NYC’s Related Companies Development Firm start?
Related Companies Development began all the way back in 1972 when founder Stephen M. Ross borrowed $10,000 from his mother to start the company with a focus on developing affordable housing for long-term investment.
In the 1980s, Related expanded into developing multi-family residential buildings, luxury rentals, office buildings, and commercial properties. In the 1990s came mixed-use properties, starting with CityPlace in West Palm Beach. Now, many cities, including Chicago, Santa Clara, and Boca Raton, have tapped Related to develop their city centers.
It’s hard to imagine a world where smoke-free buildings weren’t the norm, but it was actually Related Companies Development that helped popularize this standard. In the 2000s, they were the first residential developer to launch a nationwide smoke-free program in their rental residences.
By the 2010s, Related was more than just a developer. They were managing capital and providing financial services for their own properties and third-party investors.
In 2012, construction began on what is Related’s most significant achievement in New York City to date: Hudson Yards. This 28-acre, 17-million square foot, $25 billion-dollar-development on Manhattan’s West Side has garnered attention for its mixed-use properties which host high-end residences and luxury retail spaces, as well as the tourist-attracting honeycomb-shaped monument known simply as “Vessel”. Hudson Yards is also home to the Shed, a 200,000-square-foot event venue with a retractable roof, which has held many exciting performances and events since opening in 2019. They recently held a free Pride event hosted by Angelica Ross and headlined by Christina Aguilera that drew a crowd of 5,000.
Among Related’s many awards is the title of Most Innovative Company of 2017, given by Fast Company in relation to the firm’s work on Hudson Yards. “Related is bringing together an array of lifestyle brands (including its own, SoulCycle and Equinox) and public amenities to create a private development with broad public appeal,” wrote the magazine.
Which NYC Properties Is This Developer Known For?
There’s no way to list off all of Related Companies Development’s thousands of residential spaces in one article — there’s a good reason they’re NYC’s biggest landlord. That said, there are a few properties they’ve developed that have helped carve their reputation for engaging urban communities and attracting luxury buyers and renters to their buildings.
If you think we were done talking about Hudson Yards, think again. This is 17 million square feet of development and exists today as Related Companies Development’s crowning glory. Hudson Yards is home to over 100 businesses, many of which are high-end shops and restaurants, as well as six luxury residences, split 50/50 between rentals and condominiums.
The Shops are a beautifully vibrant, bustling commercial center of Manhattan’s Upper West Side. This vertically sprawling 2.8 million-square-foot complex next to Central Park hosts luxury shops, restaurants, hotels, and even an events space. It’s no surprise that it attracts 16 million visitors annually.
Rather than list the physical details of this affordable housing property, let’s focus on the impact it has made on the community of Far Rockaway since its opening in 2021. With 63 units of 100% supportive housing, residents can access a wide range of social services provided by Win as well as building amenities that include a community room, children’s playroom, and a public playground.
In 2012, Related took over the construction of One Madison, a luxury condominium located in the center of the Gramercy, Flatiron, NoMad, and Chelsea neighborhoods of Manhattan. This 60-floor property boasts spectacular skyline views and impressive amenities that include a recording studio, spa, Equinox fitness club, and the One Club, a private club for residents.
Related Companies Development’s Latest Plan: A NYCHA Reconstruction
For only the third time in the 90-year history of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), the government agency is moving forward with a $1.5 billion project that will completely rebuild the public housing apartments known as Fulton Houses and Elliott-Chelsea Houses in Manhattan. Their partners in the plan? Related Companies Development (along with Essence Development, another NYC developer).
Related was chosen for the job by tenant leaders and NYCHA, and have committed to building the new properties before tearing down the old ones so that existing residents will have somewhere to move to and won’t be displaced. These apartments were deteriorating to the point that renovations would have cost just as much as new buildings.
Related has an extensive plan to build over 2,000 public housing apartments that include dishwashers, washers and dryers, and access to rooftop terraces. Their plan also includes mixed-use spaces, with reserves for lower-income housing as well as commercial and retail space.
Construction is expected to finish in six years. This isn’t just a major project for NYCHA — it could be a model replicated throughout the city, where other public housing conditions are worsening.
How To Rent Or Buy A Home Owned By Related Companies Development
Talk to a NewDevRev agent
Finding a home in NYC is a lot more difficult without an expert agent at your side. The NewDevRev team specializes in new developments, including those owned by Related Companies Development. They can send you the best listings, put you in touch with the best people, and help make sure you’re prepared. Let us know you’re interested and we’ll take it from there.
Tour different kinds of listings
Given the many different types of properties owned by Related, there’s a good chance you’ll want to view a lot of different units before settling on the right one for you. Whether it’s a larger building versus a smaller one or a rental versus a condominium, this massive developer will probably offer some listings that interest you. Again, your NewDevRev agent will be able to help you schedule viewings and narrow things down when you’re ready.
Decide what kind of amenities you want
If you want top-of-the-line amenities, Related Companies Development probably has the type of property you’re looking for. But which ones mean the most to you? They range from gyms, pools, and spas, to more specific offerings, like their first-of-its-kind doggy daycare service, outdoor green spaces, and co-working lounges. Think about which amenities mean most to you to help guide your search.
If you’re ready to own a Related property rather than just rent one, it’s time to arrange a mortgage to help you purchase it. In New York City, it’s always important to view homes with as much paperwork completed as possible. That means getting pre-approved for a mortgage in advance and being able to show it to a seller if they ask for it. That way, when you’re ready to make your offer with your NewDevRev agent, your lender is ready to back it up.
Make an offer
Once you’ve decided on a home, it’s time to make an offer! Your NewDevRev agent will take a look at past sales of the building and comparative listings in the area to make sure you’re putting together a competitive offer that gets you the best deal possible. Once all the details of the offer have been sorted out, your agent will submit the written offer to the seller’s agent, along with your mortgage pre-approval letter and proof of funds for the deposit. You’ll be one step closer to owning your piece of Related Companies Development!