After leaving Microsoft, Bill Gates has developed a reputation as one of the savviest investors anywhere. But much of his investment profile is linked to public and private equity through his family office Cascade Investment and venture investing through Gates Ventures. Less well known is his real estate investments, especially Cascade’s co-ownership of Florida-based Strategic Property Partners.
Founded in 2010, Tampa-based Strategic Property Partners is a joint venture between Cascade Investment and hedge fund billionaire Jeff Vinik. SPP is behind one of the biggest commercial redevelopments anywhere in the US right now. It involves the redevelopment of a 50-acre site in downtown Tampa.
When finished in the next few years, the development is expected to add 9.5 million square feet of new commercial space and 3,500 residences, along with urban amenities and added open space, to the city centre of Tampa.
Construction work started earlier this year, which includes building a: “20-story, 380,000-square-foot ‘trophy’ building that will be the first new ground-up office development in downtown Tampa in more than a quarter century; the Marriott Edition Hotel & Residences, a luxury 172-room hotel with 35 condominiums that will be the city’s first five-star lodging property; and a pair of new apartment towers at 1010 Water St. and 1077 Water St. that could add another 900 new residences,” according to local media reports.
Led by real estate specialist James Nozar, SPP has a team of more than 50 professionals, which will all move into one of its development sites Sparkman Wharf later this year.
Gates seems to like real estate in Florida. Back in 2013, a subsidiary of Cascade reportedly bought 4,500 acres of farmland in the state.