Before we get started, here are some overviews of JG that are worth familiarizing yourself with.
- Jonathan Gray, Blackstone’s Real Estate Wizard Behind the Curtain - New York Observer
- Jon Gray Skips Party, Afraid Record Buyout Will Fail - Bloomberg
- Blackstone's Gray Joins Board as Real Estate Rises to 71% of Firm's Profit - Businessweek
Whether it has been getting involved in GGP's bankruptcy, loaning money to and then owning Eagle Hospitality (Apollo and preferred shareholders got spanked on this one; more on this story another time), buying Centro, or any other (Emeritus' health-care portfolio) of it's lucrative joint-ventures (Glimcher); Blackstone has acquired an empire that spans beyond commercial buildings.
Jon Gray has also been busy acquiring a massive portfolio of residential houses; often times he is buying them in bulk. Look no further than the mortgage team at Bloomberg and you will frequently see BX named in a story that excessively celebrates the genius of buying resi when it has never made more sense to do so.
See what I'm saying here? While not every purchase has been a winner (see: EOP restructurings, Hilton buyout), their aptitude to see trends just a few months before anyone (lol) else tells me that leaving the keys in the mail is just the price of doing business on such a massive scale.
In case you haven't learned enough already. A couple more to drive the point home.
- The Hotel Hegemony Continues
Maybe in the future we'll do a similar story on CRE investors who recently got it all wrong. Any ideas? Maguire, Lightstone, Macklowe might work. Let us know.