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Blackstone Buys Stuy-Town

ENDVEST Oct 27, 2015

When you often hear about high-profile real estate development deals in New York, you hear “Hudson Yards”, or “432 Park Avenue” or “One57.” These luxury areas and condominiums have captivated the attention of real estate developers and buyers alike with floor-to-ceiling windows, killer views, and price tags in the tens or even hundreds of millions. A name like Stuyvesant Town just doesn’t ring any bells or hold any weight, until now.


A few days ago, Blackstone announced that, along with Ivanhoe Cambridge, they’d be purchasing the entire rental neighborhood of Stuyvesant Town (11,232 rental units in about 90 buildings) for $5.3 billion, only half of which is debt. The unique structure of the deal, paired with the fact that over half of these apartments are locked in rent stabilization for the next 20 years, shows Blackstone’s willingness to diversify into core and core plus investments.


Blackstone is a specialist in opportunistic investments with its largest fund raising $16 billion this year. However, the $5.3 billion acquisition catapults the total real estate holdings of Blackstone’s new fund, Blackstone Property Partners, to $17 billion.


What does this mean for real estate investment? Firstly, this seemingly surprising acquisition speaks to the importance of looking high and low for real estate investments; there isn’t only money to be made in enormous skyscrapers.


Secondly, the hot real estate market (which is always hotter in New York) means that raising capital is easy; delivering healthy returns is more difficult. Blackstone has recognized the need to continue making money, even if it is through a longer-term lens.