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Why Blackstone's Real Estate Empire Can't Be Stopped

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Why Blackstone's Real Estate Empire Can't Be Stopped

In an industry where a building sale can drag on for months, Blackstone flexed their muscles earlier this year, completing one of the biggest real estate deals in US history in just three weeks (a $23B deal with General Electric). As the summer comes to a close, Blackstone’s real estate empire continues to look unstoppable. The world’s largest real estate investment manager (and America's biggest landlord), Blackstone controls over $92B in real estate assets ($333B total) while crushing the competition on several metrics. Even though real estate wasn't a focus when Stephen Schwarzman and Peter Peterson set up shop in 1985, it's the firm's biggest cash cow today, racking in $1.9B last year from investment returns and fees.

The company’s opportunistic real estate strategy proved massively successful in the post-recession climate as Blackstone took bold strides—including a $1B play on foreclosure homes—while others played it safe. With easier access to capital, multiple, diverse interests and Jonathan Gray’s (pictured) leadership (and Steve Jobs-like aura), Blackstone seems unbeatable—even as it extends into a weakened China and deals with regulations. If you want to know more about Blackstone, check out our recent profile.[TRD]