Chairman and CEO at RXR
Last year's rank: 2
RXR celebrated its 15th anniversary in January with plenty to toast to. Since its 2007 founding, the firm’s portfolio has grown to $21 billion of assets under management, including 26.5 million square feet of commercial space and 7,000 residential units.
The anniversary brought about a chance “to step back and reflect on where we began, where we are today, and where we’re headed in the future,” Scott Rechler said. “We’ve come out of COVID really energized. There was a pandemic pivot that we leaned into, and continue to lean into.”
The past year saw much of RXR’s existing pipeline of New York City mega-projects advance, but the company also got to work expanding and diversifying both its portfolio and its geographic footprint.
“We got back into logistics and self-storage, and expanded in multiple markets, including Arizona, Tampa and North Carolina,” he said.
That’s not to say that RXR’s hometown was any less of a focus. In fact, the firm doubled down on its commitment to the Big Apple and took a big bite. In addition to moving its JFK JetBlue terminal project forward and opening its two-acre rooftop park at Pier 57 — the largest in New York City, and part of the $410 million renovation of the Google-leased structure — RXR signed some of the biggest office leases of 2021, including 240,000 square feet for Roku at 5 Times Square.
Then, last year was wrapped in a perfect bow when, in December, the New York City Council greenlighted RXR’s mixed-use supertall at 175 Park Avenue. “It [will be] the largest and most modern office building ever constructed in New York City, if not the Western Hemisphere,” Rechler said.
He describes the current market environment as “a paradigm shift that we haven’t experienced since World War II, in terms of how people live, work and operate. This is a really unique moment, and I feel we’re really well positioned to be at the forefront, and lead both the industry and our communities through it.”
He also adjusted to some personal transitions, leaving his role as chair of the Regional Plan Association after five years and settling into the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s board of directors — at a pretty interesting time, to put it mildly.
“It’s been really intellectually stimulating because of the current environment, with quantitative tightening, inflation and the interest rate rise,” Rechler said. “I’m six months into it, and it’s like going back to school for economics.”
Looking ahead, future-proofing RXR’s properties is top of mind today for Rechler, along with ensuring RXR’s buildings are at the leading edge of environmental sustainability and carbon reduction. “Our goal is to be net zero by 2035,” he said.