Overview

Witkoff is a privately held, global real estate development and investment firm headquartered in New York City.  Founded by Steven Witkoff in 1997, the firm is a market leader in the ownership and development of premier residential, hospitality, office, retail, and mixed-use projects in major cities both in the United States and abroad.

Witkoff specializes in identifying and acquiring undervalued properties in key central business district locations as well as assets with strong repositioning potential in gateway markets.  Leveraging a vertically integrated, operationally focused approach to project development, with in-house teams focused on acquisitions, financing, design, development, construction, sales and marketing, and asset and property management, Witkoff has consistently executed creative strategies across diverse asset classes.

Witkoff currently owns a large diverse portfolio and has a number of high-profile projects under development.  Over an 18-year period, Witkoff has been involved in over 75 projects comprising more than 18 million square feet and representing in excess of $7 billion in total transaction value.


Overview

Capabilities

Witkoff is led by three partners who have worked together for over 18 years and are supported by a seasoned team of real estate professionals with experience across all aspects of acquisitions, development, and operations. Our acquisitions team, which includes professionals with institutional real estate, capital markets and structured finance expertise, leads transaction underwriting, due diligence, deal structuring, and financings. Witkoff’s development professionals drive all aspects of execution including business strategy, project entitlements, budget, scheduling, sales, marketing, and leasing, as well as ongoing lender and partner relationships and reporting. Witkoff’s design and construction management executives oversee third-party planning, architecture, design, and building construction. The team is assisted at each stage by our in-house legal, accounting, operations, and asset and property management professionals.

INVESTMENT EXPERTISE

Witkoff is an opportunistic company. The firm specializes in identifying undervalued assets which require repositioning through entitlements, building conversion, or operational turnaround. Witkoff focuses on acquiring complex structured deals with multiple execution strategies in which we can utilize our development expertise. As a true vertically integrated firm, we leverage our acquisition, development, construction and operating teams to underwrite and diligence each investment transaction.

Witkoff is an experienced institutional investor and has a proven track record buying through various economic cycles. We have successfully purchased development sites with entitlement issues, operationally challenged assets, and landmark properties in need of restoration. Witkoff is also an experienced buyer of distressed loans, CMBS, and mezzanine debt, which require capital restructuring and property-level repositioning.

We focus on creating and accessing attractive investment opportunities through our proprietary relationships. The firm’s principals maintain close relationships with global financial institutions, national and regional brokers, lenders, special servicers, national REITs, strategic operating partners, local property owners, lawyers, advisors, and other market players.

Active management creates, protects and enhances value. The firms takes a direct “hands on” approach to development, construction, property management and operations. Led by senior management, our asset management of operating assets is focused on growing existing income and controlling costs while maintaining service levels. For each investment, emphasis is placed on long-term strategic planning and superior business plan execution at each stage of the project.

 

MARKET EXPERTISE

Witkoff has a significant presence in New York City, having completed over 50 transactions in Manhattan and the greater New York metropolitan region. We maintain a direct network of relationships with the major property owners, advisors and brokers, providing opportunities to source first-look and off-market transactions. Our deep understanding of local zoning, community groups and the political landscape enables us to pursue complex land use and entitlement opportunities. Our experience with ground-up development, conversions, repositionings, and renovations, including historical landmark assets, allows us to successfully manage the complexities of development in New York City. Witkoff’s institutional sponsorship provides the ability to finance large-scale, capital intensive development and construction projects.

Witkoff has significant experience in major cities across the United States as well as in London. On behalf of itself and institutional partners, Witkoff has owned, developed, operated, and/or managed real estate projects in Miami, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Las Vegas, Oakland, San Francisco, Mission Viejo, and Honolulu. Witkoff currently has an active portfolio in Miami including a hotel under development, an office property, and a site for future development. Witkoff has the expertise to analyze market fundamentals and evaluate investment opportunities in new markets.

 

Witkoff’s development expertise includes ground-up construction, repositioning, renovations, and conversions. The firm has developed and repositioned a wide array of projects including high-profile luxury residential condominiums, multifamily properties, Class A office buildings, large-scale and boutique hotels, and mixed-use projects. Our knowledge of each aspect of the development process, coupled with an execution driven approach, provides a strategic advantage in completing projects in difficult to build markets. Institutional sponsorship allows us to pursue and finance complex construction projects.
 

Development Process

  

Witkoff Expertise

Pre-Development

Project managers direct each step of the pre-development process including entitlements, design, budgeting, scheduling and financing.

Entitlements

Knowledge of local zoning requirements and experience working directly with municipalities, community groups and local stakeholders to pursue and modify complex land use entitlements.

Design

Experience working with the world’s top architects, interior design firms, and other design consultants which are directly managed by Witkoff’s in-house design professionals.

Financing

Expertise in structuring and financing complex development projects through established relationships with the largest construction lenders and institutional equity partners.

Construction

In-house construction management team supervises each stage of building construction and third-party general contractors.

Operations

Hands-on operations focus and asset management, combined with strategic operating partners, drive incremental performance through improved operations.

 

HISTORIC PROPERTY EXPERTISE

Witkoff is widely respected for its outstanding stewardship and rehabilitation of historic properties. Witkoff owns or has owned some of New York City’s most iconic landmarks including the Woolworth Building at 233 Broadway, the Daily News Building at 220 East 42nd Street, the City Bank-Farmers Trust Building at 20 Exchange Place, the Merchants Exchange Building at 55 Wall Street, the International Mercantile Marine Company Building at One Broadway and the Sohmer & Company Piano Factory at 31-01 Vernon Boulevard. In addition, Witkoff has owned and restored a number of other smaller landmark properties in New York City and have worked with the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission on preserving historic properties within its portfolio. Also of note, Witkoff successfully obtained historic tax credit certification through the National Park Service for the rehabilitation the Sohmer & Company Piano Factory.


Capabilities

Strategy

As both an owner and operator we are driven to create value through superior execution at each stage of the investment life-cycle.  Our strategic approach is based on these fundamental principles:

  • Invest based on an informed economic viewpoint, in-depth market knowledge, and disciplined analysis.

  • Pursue opportunistic deals with multiple execution strategies and incremental value creation through complex entitlements, new development, and asset repositioning.

  • Build and leverage industry relationships with the world’s leading institutions, lenders, special servicers, property owners, national and regional brokers, advisors, and other market players to source proprietary off-market deals.  

  • Deliver superior project execution driven by a vertically integrated team with expertise in all aspects of investment, development, and operations.

  • Structure downside protection by creating flexibility in project capitalization with a focus on asset preservation.

  • Obtain attractive financing for capital intensive projects through established institutional lender and equity partner relationships.  Proven experience utilizing EB-5 financing programs to provide more efficient and longer-term capital for select investments.

  • Develop strategic operating relationships with industry-leading hospitality operators and the top residential sales and marketing firms.

  • Focus on undervalued opportunities in central business districts of top tier cities and select emerging markets with strong fundamentals.