Vornado Realty Trust is a real estate investment trust (REIT) with holdings in office, retail, hospitality, and residential space. The company's commercial property holdings total more than 100 million sq. ft. of space, primarily in New York City and Washington, DC. The REIT also owns the 1,700-room Hotel Pennsylvania in Manhattan, the 3.6 million-sq.-ft. theMART (formerly the Merchandise Mart) office building in Chicago, and a controlling stake in San Francisco's 1.8 million-sq.-ft. office complex 555 California Street. In addition, Vornado owns about a third each of New York retail property owner
and big-box toy giant
Toys ''R'' Us
. The REIT is planning to spin off its DC holdings.
The company operates through two primary segments: New York and Washington, DC.
Its New York operations, which brought in nearly 70% of total revenue in 2015, include some 85 properties comprising more than 29 million sq. ft. of space. Holdings in that city include office properties (21.3 million sq. ft.), retail space (2.6 million sq. ft.), residential properties (some 1,700 units), the Hotel Pennsylvania, and the stake in Alexander's (which owns seven properties in the Big Apple).
Washington, DC, holdings include more than 70 properties with 19 million sq. ft. of space, primarily office space. The REIT announced plans to spin off these operations in late 2016.
The fully-integrated REIT owns a quarter of Vornado Capital Partners, its real estate fund.
Manhattan is Vornado's largest market, followed by Washington, DC. The REIT also owns properties in Chicago and San Francisco.
Note: Vornado has restated its net income due to asset sales for an aggregate $1 billion.
Net revenue has been declining for the past five years. In 2015, it dropped 5% to $2.5 billion, primarily due to the sale of assets. (That year, it spun off more than 100 shopping centers to the newly established
Urban Edge Properties
.) Net income rose in 2013 and 2014 but fell 12% to $760.4 million in 2015 as net revenue continued its decline and income from discontinued operations decreased.
Cash flow from operations fell 41% to $672.2 million that year.
Vornado's primary strategy for growth is to buy new properties and renovate existing ones in its core market of New York City. In 2015 it spent $845.8 million on property acquisitions, primarily office space acquisitions in New York.
The REIT is also selling its properties in non-core markets, such as Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia. In 2015, it sold about a dozen assets for an aggregate of more than $1 billion; this included the spin-off of most of its retail holdings to the newly created public firm Urban Edge Properties.
In late 2016, Vornado announced plans to spin off its Washington, DC, portfolio, which it will merge with assets of DC property firm JBG Companies to create JBG SMITH Properties. This move echoes the 2015 spin-off of Urban Edge Properties; both transactions serve to create specialized property companies with focused strategies. Vornado shareholders will own about three-fourths of JBG SMITH.
With the New York real estate market heating up, Vornado is looking to simplify its business by exiting investments, such as its stakes in Toys "R" Us, so it can focus on growing its property portfolio. However, while it sold its shares in the ailing
in 2013, it appears to be stuck with Toys "R" Us for the foreseeable future. In the meantime, income from its investment in the toy retailer has tumbled over the past several years. Vornado was originally attracted to the big-box firm because of its real estate holdings.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In 2015 Vornado acquired a three-story retail building in Manhaatan for $355 million, an eight-story office building in Long Island for $142 million, and a commercial building in Manhattan for $28.5 million. It also upped its stake in the Crowne Plaza Times Square Hotel from 11% to 33% that year.