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Vornado Realty Trust is a real estate investment trust based in New York City. The company invests in office buildings and street retail in Manhattan.

Vornado Realty Trust
Public company
Traded as
Industry Real estate investment trust
Founded 1982; 36 years ago (1982)
Headquarters New York City, New York
Key people
Steven Roth, Chairman & CEO
Michael J. Franco, Chief investment officer[1]
Revenue Increase $2.506 billion (2016)[1]
Decrease $0.550 billion (2016)[1]
Increase $0.981 billion (2016)[1]
Total assets Decrease $20.814 billion (2016)[1]
Total equity Increase $7.618 billion (2016)[1]
Number of employees
4,225 (2016)[1]



Notable properties wholly owned by the company include the following, all of which are in New York City:[1]

The company also owns Oakdale Mall in Johnson City, New York, 100% of Merchandise Mart, 32.4% of Alexander's, and 32.5% of Toys "R" Us.[1] It shares ownership with Kushner Companies of an office tower at 666 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.[2]


1999 K Street, NW in Washington, D.C. was developed by Vornado Realty Trust and sold for $208M in 2009. It was designed by architect Helmut Jahn.
330 Madison Avenue, owned by Vornado

Two GuysEdit

The origins of the company can be traced back to the Two Guys discount store chain, founded in 1947 by brothers Sidney and Herbert Hubschman.[3] In 1959, Two Guys acquired O. A. Sutton Corporation, manufacturers of the Vornado line of electric fans, and the company was renamed Vornado Inc.[3]

By 1964, the company operated over 200 stores.[4] In the 1970s, Vornado began divesting its retail operations. In 1978, the company sold 80 Two Guys locations in California.[3]

In 1980, Interstate Properties Inc., a real estate development company controlled by Steven Roth, acquired an 18% stake in Vornado, since Roth became interested in the company's real estate holdings.[3] In 1981, Interstate Properties took control of the firm after winning a proxy struggle against existing management and closed additional stores, reducing the number of stores in operation to 12.[5][6]

Acquisition of Alexander's (1986–1995)Edit

In 1986, Interstate Properties and Donald Trump each bought approximately 20% of Alexander's, a failing retailer whose real estate holdings included a store that occupied the entire block between East 58th and 59th streets and Lexington and Third Avenues in Manhattan.[7]

In 1988, they each raised their stakes to 27% of the company, but Trump pledged his interest as collateral for a personal loan from Citicorp and in 1991, Trump was forced to turn over his holdings to Citibank.[8]

In 1992, Roth and Alexander's creditors forced Alexander's into bankruptcy.[9]

Alexander's emerged from bankruptcy in 1993 as a real estate investment trust. That same year, Vornado Inc. was converted into a REIT, Vornado Realty Trust. In 1995, Vornado bought Citicorp's interest in Alexander's.[10]

Vornado Air licensing deal (1989)Edit

In 1989, the Vornado name was licensed to Vornado Air, LLC, a new company formed to manufacture heating and cooling equipment. Outside of the brand licensing agreement, the Trust has no modern relation to Vornado Air, LLC.

Acquisition of properties from Bernard H. Mendik (1997)Edit

In April 1997, the company merged with a company owned by Bernard H. Mendik in a $654 million stock transaction that added a large portfolio of office buildings in Manhattan to Vornado's assets. Mendik became co-chairman of Vornado until his resignation in October 1998.[11]

World Trade Center lease (2001)Edit

On February 15, 2001, the Port Authority announced that Vornado Realty Trust had won the bid for a 99-year lease for the World Trade Center, offering $3.25 billion.[12] Silverstein Properties was outbid by $30 million by Vornado. However, Vornado balked over lease terms and possible tax liabilities.[13] Silverstein signed a lease for the World Trade Center in April 2001.[14]


In 2001, the company acquired Charles E. Smith Commercial Realty, owner of a portfolio of assets primarily in Arlington, Virginia, in a $1.58 billion transaction. Robert H. Smith and Robert P. Kogod were added to the board of directors of Vornado.[15]

In 2005, the company bought a 32.5% interest in Toys "R" Us.[16]

In 2013, Steven Roth replaced Michael D. Fascitelli as CEO of Vornado. Fascitelli had been CEO since 2009.[17]

In 2015, the company spun off its interest in Urban Edge Properties to its shareholders.[18]

In 2017, the company merged its Charles E. Smith Companies subsidiary into the JBG Companies, forming JBG Smith.[19]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Vornado Realty Trust 2016 Form 10-K Annual Report
  2. ^ "Trump Stories: Kushner". Embedded (Podcast). NPR. 26 October 2017. Event occurs at 27:33 to 40:08. Retrieved 11 February 2018. 
  3. ^ a b c d BARMASH, ISADORE (June 13, 1981). "A CHANGE AT TROUBLED VORNADO". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ SLOANE, LEONARD (October 10, 1964). "Two Guys Stores Are Expanding". The New York Times. 
  5. ^ BARMASH, ISADORE (November 3, 1981). "VORNADO TO INCREASE STORE CLOSINGS BY 18 UNITS". The New York Times. 
  7. ^ "Trump to Acquire 20% of Alexander's". The New York Times. November 22, 1986. 
  8. ^ "Alexander's Jumps On Trump Rumor". The New York Times. May 14, 1991. 
  9. ^ "Alexander's Shuts All Its 11 Stores; Plans Liquidation". The New York Times. May 16, 1992. 
  10. ^ "Vornado and Affiliate Get Control of Alexander's". The New York Times. March 7, 1995. 
  11. ^ Trainor, Tim (May 30, 2001). "Manhattan Real Estate Mogul Bernard Mendik Dies". CoStar Group. 
  12. ^ "Vornado wins WTC lease". Reuters. February 22, 2001. 
  13. ^ BAGLI, CHARLES V. (March 17, 2001). "World Trade Center Deal Remains in Doubt". The New York Times. 
  14. ^ BAGLI, CHARLES V. (April 27, 2001). "Deal Is Signed To Take Over Trade Center". The New York Times. 
  15. ^ "Vornado to Acquire Rest of Charles E. Smith". CoStar Group. October 19, 2001. 
  16. ^ "BAIN CAPITAL, KKR AND VORNADO COMPLETE ACQUISITION OF TOYS "R" US, INC" (Press release). Business Wire. July 21, 2005. 
  17. ^ "Michael D. Fascitelli to Step Down as Vornado's Chief Executive Officer; Steven Roth, the Company's Chairman, Appointed as Chief Executive Officer" (Press release). Business Wire. February 27, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Vornado Announces Completion of Spin-Off of Urban Edge Properties" (Press release). Business Wire. January 15, 2015. 
  19. ^ "JBG SMITH Properties Announces Completion of Its Spin-Off From Vornado Realty Trust and Its Combination With The JBG Companies" (Press release). PRNewswire. July 18, 2017. 

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