Some of the lowest prices per square foot are available today in stocks on a look-through basis. I believe that our cost basis for $DAFL (DuArt) is around $8 per square foot in Midtown Manhattan. Today the building is being marketed by JLL at $50 per square foot.
As you know, we pursue this exact core competency as well; below is excerpted from Steve Roth's 2004 $VNO annual report:
Below is our winning team today, where we ride with Roth, and actually have done better than him with yield in both $SRG and $CPPTL, the former Sears and Penney:
In real estate, my lineup is: $DAFL (OTC Expert Market), $RDI, $MAYS, $SRG, $CPPTL, and $VNO. Each came from a failed operating business with excellent real estate: retail stores—Sears, Kmart, JCPenney, J.W. Mays, Alexander's, Two Guys—a film-processing lab, and a railroad!
I have a range of physical targets as well, which form the basis of a pipeline that I am building into our company, eventually to become a publicly-listed vehicle.
Here is an obvious development site owned by $RDI; the movie theater across from Bloomingdales. Subway access in front, the restaurant can be combined; perfect for a 40-story residential tower!
Another low-profile yet signature holding—J.W. Mays—owns a building, 9 Bond, right across from this:
$MAYS' building is circled below, across from Brooklyn Tower being constructed. What might this development site be worth?
What I love about this niche is that it feels like a chess game. But instead of advancing wooden pieces, we're trafficking in supertall skyscrapers.
He provides a template for real-assets investing: from shoe manufacturing to cleaning clothes, into wealth denomination in land and horses! There was an era—namely the 1940s to 1970s—when that sort of thing is what defined wealth. It is forgotten...
Or the classic:
“They used to ask him: ‘Mr. Isaac, how do you measure in times of high inflation how you are doing this year?’ and he said: ‘If I have one more apartment, one more hectare of farm, one more cow.’ He measured real assets.”
— Eduardo Elsztain (on his grandfather)