Related Companies (Bruce Beal, left, Jeff Blau, top right, Stephen Ross, bottom right)
Stephen Ross, Jeff Blau and Bruce Beal
Chairman and Founder; CEO; President at Related Companies
Last year's rank: 10
Stephen Ross once told the mayor of West Palm Beach that he was “spending money in your town like a drunken sailor.” Or so the story goes in the mayor’s telling.
The Related Companies boss, it should be clear, was referring to real estate — and has indeed been on a spending spree in the South Florida city. Ross anticipated the need for office space in West Palm Beach long before the pandemic, and is now the dominant office landlord in the city, which has become a prime destination for New York executives — and their companies.
Of course, that’s just one area where Related’s been active. Helmed by Jeff Blau and Bruce Beal in addition to Ross, Related has major developments in New York, Los Angeles, and Boston and Chicago too.
Actually, the word “major” is understating it. They have perfected the art of building mini cities within cities that come with millions of square feet of office, luxury residential offerings and stylish retail. Its most visible development in New York, the massive Hudson Yards, is a prime example of that. It has also borne the brunt of pandemic difficulties, especially its retail. The space that Neiman Marcus once anchored is being converted to office, while The Vessel, the centerpiece and main tourist attraction of Hudson Yards, is closed indefinitely after a number of suicides from the structure.
Related did successfully modify its $1.2 billion loan on Hudson Yards, buying itself four more years to pay back creditors. That indicates Hudson Yards has not performed as hoped, but also highlights Related’s heft. Not just any company could get its lenders to agree to such a change.
In West Palm Beach, Related completed 360 Rosemary, one of the first large Class A offices to be constructed in the city in about a decade. It’s fully leased. Also last year, Related broke ground on One Flagler, another office, with more in the pipeline. Related has made additional moves in South Florida, including affordable housing acquisitions in Fort Lauderdale and a planned tower in Miami.
Ross is, of course, already well known in the Magic City as the owner of the Miami Dolphins. Ross angered fans this year when he fired head coach Brian Flores, who then sued Ross, the Dolphins and the NFL for discrimination and accused Ross of asking him to throw games.
“This past year was a story of tremendous recovery from the pandemic,” Ross said. “The momentum continues in 2022 with the opening of The Grand LA, the rapid growth of West Palm Beach, the groundbreaking of game-changing life science projects in Boston, our first Chicago 80/20 at 900 Randolph and exciting steps forward for our new developments in London, Detroit and Santa Clara.”.