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Story 17: Scott Rechler, RXR Realty CEO

Many foreign real estate companies have been showing interest in Korea as of late. Global real estate companies such as Rob Spire, CEO of Tishman Speyer, who recently formed a USD 1.5 billion joint venture with the National Pension Service, and Moses Song, CEO of Singapore ARA Asset Management, which is also investing heavily in Korea, came to Korea to find opportunities to work with Korean institutional investors. RXR, one of New York’s leading real estate companies, is among such visitors. Key RXR executives, CEO and Chairman Scott Rechler, President Michael Maturo, and Robin Henderson Senior Director Private Capital Group, visited Korea to meet with institutions. Scott Rechler recently was named in the Commercial Observer Power 100 list, coming in second just after Blackstone’s Jonathan Gray. I got the chance to interview Rechler during his visit to Korea last November.

Previously, Thomas Yoo, CEO of Willow River Capital Management, has written for SPI about RXR Realty and other New York developers.

-Please tell us about RXR.

“RXR was founded in 2009. Our mother company is Reckson Associates which was founded in 1968. Reckson Associates was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1995 and sold to SL Green in 2007 for USD 6 billion. When Reckson Associates was sold, the primary interest was in changing customer demands, including changes to demographics and technology that influenced how people work and live, and the needs of urban environments. Our strategy was to take a step back to understand the situation in the world so that we could have a better idea of the direction we were headed. Our investments were focused on going with the flow of those changes.”

-Could you tell us about the investments you have made since you returned?

“When we returned to the New York office market in 2009, we purchased several office buildings favored by tech companies and knowledge industry workers. These include 1166 Ave. of the Americas, 340 Madison, Starrett Lehigh, and 620 Ave. of the Americas. We wanted to understand the people who worked in those buildings and their needs. Realizing that there was a need for more affordable housing, we strategized to develop affordable housing through public private partnerships. We subsequently gained experience in developing suburban communities connected by public transit to Manhattan. We’ve since developed 250,000 sq. feet of office space and 7,000 multi-family residences. Given the oversaturated office market, we’ve branched out to invest 1.1 million square feet in logistics centers for e-commerce companies such as Amazon, infrastructure like terminals 6 and 7 of JFK International Airport, and projects led by other developers. We also invest in loans.”

To read the rest of the interview, visit