The Best Real Estate Development Companies of 2021

Our real estate development companies reviews are the result of over 40 hours of research on 130+ real estate development companies from across the web. These reviews and our real estate development companies guide help small businesses and startups find the best real estate development companies for their business.

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How We Chose the Best Real Estate Development Companies

From large, expansive apartment complexes and sporting arenas to the buildings that house the movers and shakers that power the economy, real estate development companies help shape the future. Choosing the right one for your investment goals requires due diligence, a clear strategy, and a winning team that specializes in your field. We’ve rounded up the top real estate development companies based on three critical factors so you can make a more powerful, well-informed decision.

Multiple Service Lines

“If you build it, they will come.” But once “they” get there, who’ll manage it for the future? Who’ll be there to oversee continual site development or, more important, crucial property maintenance? When seeking out a firm, knowing its capabilities is critical. However, it’s equally important to understand what the firm cannot do, especially if you’re looking for a turn-key investment. Some real estate development companies also offer financing, which can sometimes mean the difference between successfully constructing the next masterpiece and having the building of all buildings metaphorically come tumbling down before the ink has dried.

Size of Firm

Size matters when it comes to real estate development companies. Bigger firms boast robust budgets, which means potential access to capital either through strong relationships or from the real estate development company itself. Smaller firms are beneficial when leveraging connections into a local market might be the only way to get your project off the ground. Perhaps a real estate development company that specializes in financing 240-plus-unit apartment complexes in Southwest Florida isn’t nationally known, but it has carved out the local real estate development niche so well it makes sense to choose that one over a larger firm that might not be as familiar with the area.

Industry Focus

“Niching down” allows real estate development companies to dominate a given field in a given market with the confidence to know they’ll attract the right type of clients they’ll be most successful with. For example, if someone wanted to build a new golf course, they’d be poorly served to hire a real estate development company that specializes in government contracts for affordable housing.

Some real estate development companies have more than one discipline. Some also offer ancillary services that could add even more value to a real estate development deal, such as interior design or custom landscaping. Once an investor has a firm grasp on the exact type of property they’re looking to invest in, finding a real estate development company that shares the same area of expertise is much easier.

The 14 Best Real Estate Development Companies of 2021

Beacon Communities

Beacon-Communities
Beacon Communities is a full-service multifamily residential development and acquisition company. Best known for the development of new affordable housing as well as the preservation of existing affordable housing, the firm holds in its portfolio more than 90 communities in 11 states and the District of Columbia. In recent news, the company has gained multiple awards for its property Montgomery Mills, including the 2020 ULI Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing Award and the 2020 Connecticut Main Street Awards of Excellence. Beacon Communities specializes in complicated permitting procedures and the preservation and restoration of historic architecture. It also maintains multiple sustainability efforts with all but one of its new development projects receiving LEED certifications. It also plans to enter into solar virtual net metering contracts to offset electricity use across its Massachusetts properties. Beacon has also accepted the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Building Challenge to reduce portfolio-wide energy usage by 20% over ten years.

Beacon’s properties are located in the following locales:

  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
PriceService LinesDetails
Custom QuoteCommercial Development
 
Commercial Financing, Funding & Investment
Interior Design
Number of employees: 250-999 
Notable clients: Artland
Industries served: Real Estate
More info at Beacon Communities

Berkshire Hathaway

Berkshire-Hathaway
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, in cooperation with Tomie Raines Realtors, is a full-service real estate brokerage that has been working in the greater Lansing, Michigan, real estate market since 1977. The firm has serviced clients from all over the world, marketing single and multifamily residential properties, lots and acreages, investment properties and commercial and industrial properties. Berkshire Hathaway has been recognized for several years for its customer service, including multiple awards from JD Power and QE Awards. Though this company is smaller, its size doesn’t detract from its vision of meeting each and every customer’s wants and needs. The firm is large enough to provide clients with the industry’s best tools and services but small enough to provide a caring, personalized customer service experience. All of its real estate agents average more than 15 years in the business and are Quality Service Certified.

PriceService LinesDetails
Custom QuoteCommercial Brokerage Services

Commercial Property Management

Commercial Development
Number of employees: 50-249
Industries served: Real Estate
More info at Berkshire Hathway HomeServices

Colliers International

Colliers-International
Colliers International is a leading real estate and investment management company that maintains operations in nearly 70 countries with an astonishing 18,000-plus employees. Its total revenue was approximately $3.5 billion in 2019, including its affiliates. It manages over 2 billion square feet of tangible property comprising units from many industries, including automotive, golf courses and student housing. As of October 2020, the firm has offices in 41 states and the District of Columbia. Colliers International is a full-service mortgage firm, insurance provider and project management company. Compared to many other companies, it covers almost all aspects of real estate transactions. For example, we looked into its occupier and tenant services; these include tenant representation, lease administration and consulting. The firm’s past business trends allowed it to double in 2020.

PriceService LinesDetails
Custom QuoteCommercial Real EstateNumber of employees: 10,000+
Notable clients: Blackwood Development
Industries served: Commercial Real Estate
More info at Colliers International

Continental Properties Company, Inc.

Continental-Properties-Company,-Inc
Continental Properties is an American company that develops, owns and operates high-quality apartments, retail and hospitality real estate. It’s one of the few companies in the United States to both own and operate multifamily communities. Founded in 1979 by three 20-year-old college students, Continental Properties is now a multibillion-dollar development and property management company with properties spanning the nation. In the hospitality field, they manage hotels from the various branches of Marriott, as well as Aloft Chicago O’Hare. The retail industry, however, seems to be the strongest piece of the Continental portfolio. Notable clients include Home Depot, Kohl’s, Costco and Target. Also, the firm also mentions on its website that it has built and maintained multiple high-quality relationships with various construction companies throughout the United States in its 39-year tenure. In 2018, the company developed a charitable program called Continental Cares, partnering with Revitalize Milwaukee, Ronald McDonald House Charities, and Care Packages to Troops.

PriceService LinesDetails
Custom QuoteCommercial Brokerage Services

Commercial Property Management
Number of employees: 2-9

Notable clients: Kohl's, Barnes & Noble, Target, Costco

Industries served: Real Estate
More info at Continental Properties

Eden Housing, Inc.

Eden-Housing,-Inc.
Based in California, Eden Housing is a nonprofit real estate development company that specializes in maintaining high-quality, well-maintained, service-enhanced affordable communities that meet the needs of lower-income families, seniors and people with disabilities. The year 1968 proved to be a monumental one for the company when Alameda County was severely lacking in accessible, affordable housing. After running into issues getting statewide fair-housing policies passed, Eden Housing took it upon itself to start rehabilitating older homes in Oakland. Today the company has developed or acquired more than 10,600 homes in communities throughout California. A good number of additional housing communities developed by Eden are slated to be completed by Q4 2020 and Q1 2021. In September 2020, the firm completed a successful merger with South Hampton Housing, preserving approximately 1,695 homes across 41 properties in several California counties: Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Benito and Monterey. Eden Housing also hosts the Affordable Housing Podcast, which discusses current topics, such as COVID-19’s effect on real estate and the affordability of housing in California.

PriceService LinesDetails
Custom QuoteCommercial Property Management
Commercial Development
Number of employees: 50-249 
Industries served: Real Estate
More info at Eden Housing

Gilbane Development Company

Gilbane-Development-Company
This multifaceted real estate development company boasts portfolio pieces such as affordable housing, student housing, mixed-use developments, corporate centers and health care facilities. The company was founded in 1970 and has delivered over 50 million square feet of real estate since its inception. Gilbane Development Company specialize in difficult-to-navigate real estate problems, turning them into easy, streamlined solutions. The average employee has approximately 25 years of professional experience. The firm also offers property and asset management services, including, but not limited to, operations and maintenance management, tenant representation and leading administration and marketing. Notable projects include Texas A&M University Hotel and Conference Center and College Town Rochester. Gilbane Development has won extensive recognition, including the Best of Houzz for Design by Houzz in 2015 and the Ames, Iowa Chamber of Commerce and Ames Economic Development Commission Economic Impact Award the same year.

PriceService LinesDetails
Custom QuoteCommercial Property Management

Commercial Development
Number of employees: 50-249 
Notable clients: Texas A&M University Hotel and Conference Center
Industries served: Real Estate
More info at Gilbane Development Company

Harsch Properties

Harsch-Properties
Harsch Properties is a real estate development company headquartered in Portland Oregon. It has more than 150 properties in Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah. Its portfolio includes a wealth of office, multi-tenant industrial, multifamily and retail commercial properties. With seven regional offices, the firm has staffed over 280 real estate professionals to work in their respective markets. Harsch has amassed a varied portfolio of industries, including retail, dining and corporate real estate. In recent news, the company announced a $250,000 donation to the VOA Wildfire Relief Fund.

PriceService LinesDetails
Custom QuoteCommercial Property Management

Commercial Development
Number of employees: 50-249 
Notable clients: Whole Foods
Industries served: Real Estate
More info at Harsch Properties

Humberts

Humberts
Humberts is a real estate development company specializing in residential, commercial and rural estate. Based in the United Kingdom, the firm was founded in 1842 and continues to maintain traditional values while using modern technology. Overall ratings of this company are high, which is impressive considering its 175-year tenure. The firm offers real estate valuation services to help garner and maximize sellers’ value in their real estate. The team is dispersed over six regional hubs with nine offices spanning the United Kingdom to better serve a wide array of real estate types. On the commercial side, Humberts offers several ancillary services, including property auctioneering, commercial lettings and asset and commercial management. The firm is also unique in that it offers a leisure service for investing in and managing vacation and destination real estate.

PriceService LinesDetails
Custom QuoteCommercial Property Management

Commercial Development
Number of employees: 50-249 
Industries served: Real Estate
More info at Humberts

Intercontinental Real Estate Corporation

Intercontinental-Real-Estate-Corporation
This real estate development company specializes in housing and commercial real estate properties. Intercontinental Real Estate Corporation can assist in market research, initial development, design and construction of real estate properties. Founded in 1959, the company has grown over the years to amass a wealth of real estate spanning the entire United States. As of 2020, the firm has gained a record-setting $3 billion-plus in total managed assets. It also recently launched its sixth investment fund while completing 800 Scudders Mill Road in Plainsboro, New Jersey, which is home to Novo Nordisk’s North American headquarters. Throughout the company’s history, it has also acquired several properties through joint ventures with other development firms, many of which hold LEED Gold certifications.

PriceService LinesDetails
Custom QuoteCommercial Development

Commercial Financing, Funding & Investment

Market Research
Number of employees: 50-249 
Industries served: Real Estate
More info at Intercontinental Real Estate Corporation

J.G. Petrucci Company, Inc.

J.G.-Petrucci-Company,-Inc.
J.G. Petrucci is a privately held full-service design/build specialist, owner and developer of residential, commercial and industrial real estate throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Since the company was founded, it has delivered over 600 design/build projects and currently owns and manages more than 4 million square feet of commercial and industrial properties and 2,000 apartment homes. The varied real estate in the firm’s portfolio includes health care, automotive, banks, food processing, retail and hospitality.

PriceService LinesDetails
Custom QuoteCommercial DevelopmentNumber of employees: 10-49
Notable clients: Peachtree Health Group
Industries served: Real Estate
More info at J.G. Petrucci Company

Kimco Realty Corp

Kimco-Realty-Corp
Kimco Realty Corp is a real estate investment trust (REIT) based in Jericho, New York. It’s one of the largest publicly traded owners and operators of open-air-style shopping centers. Its developments are typically anchored by grocery stores. As of June 30, 2020, the company was invested in approximately 400 U.S. shopping centers and mixed-use assets. This gives Kimco Realty over 70 million square feet of leasable space strategically located in many of the major metropolitan markets. Past and recent clientele consists of household names such as Target, Home Depot, Weis, Whole Foods, and Publix. The firm has offices in 17 states, from California to Florida.

PriceService LinesDetails
Custom QuoteCommercial Real Estate Redevelopment & DevelopmentNumber of employees: 201-500
Notable clients: Target, Petco, Whole Foods
Industries served: Real Estate
More info at Kimco Realty

Legacy Partners

Legacy-Partners
This U.S.-based real estate company develops, provides management services and purchases multifamily communities in proven markets. Since its creation in 1968, Legacy Partners has successfully developed more than 60,000 apartment homes. In addition to its portfolio of real estate development projects, the firm manages a portfolio of over 60 multifamily communities with more than 14,000 apartment homes, equaling a combined value of more than $2 billion. Its website states, “Because we’re owners, we think like owners.” In addition, Legacy Partners has received several industry awards, including the Accredited Management Organization designation from the Institute of Real Estate Management.

PriceService LinesDetails
Custom QuoteCommercial Property Management

Commercial Development
Number of employees: 250-999
Industries served: Real Estate
More info at Legacy Partners

Magnusson

Magnusson
Magnusson is a global law firm specializing in many facets of law practice, including real estate. It’s based in Europe but operates internationally and is currently headquartered in Estonia. The firm offers legal services such as the sale, purchase and financing of real estate; tenancy, leasehold and letting advice; development, zoning and local planning advice; representation in property-related negotiations and property-related court proceedings.

PriceService LinesDetails
Custom QuoteCommercial Brokerage Services

Commercial Development
Number of employees: 50-249
Industries served: Real Estate
More info at Magnusson

The JBG Companies

The-JBG-Companies
The JBG Companies is a publicly traded company that owns, operates, invests in and develops a dynamic portfolio of high-growth, mixed-use properties in and around the Washington, D.C. area. Its portfolio consists of more than 11 million square feet of office space, over 7,000 owned and operated residential units (with 98% of them within walking distance of Metro stations), and more than 1.7 million square feet of retail space. Recently, the company achieved a four-star rating from the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark.

PriceService LinesDetails
Custom QuoteCommercial Property Management
Commercial Development
Commercial Financing
Funding & Investment
Number of employees: 501-1,000
Industries served: Real Estate
More info at The JPG Companies

What Is a Real Estate Development Company?

A real estate development company helps to develop and construct, preserve or renovate residential, commercial or industrial real estate projects. They can be tasked with designing building structures and negotiating land deals and often offer services after the initial construction is completed, such as tenant management and property maintenance. When we think about the various types of real estate, the one thing they all have in common is that each one has to be developed from the ground up. Whether this happens on undeveloped land or preexisting dwellings and structures depends on the goal. For example, many historic factories across the nation are being preserved and repurposed for reimagined uses, such as affordable housing, casinos and shopping plazas. Each piece of real estate undergoes a stringent planning phase where projects are judged based on viability and client budget.

Depending on the type of real estate property being developed, a real estate development company can lend its expertise to help with complicated permitting processes, logistical and transit issues, as well as help to plan for issues that might arise after the final piece of brick has been laid. From property maintenance and tenant management to landscaping services and ongoing property improvements, a real estate development company can provide streamlined solutions for properties of all shapes and sizes.

Benefits of a Real Estate Development Company

When considering the benefits of a real estate development company, one should consider these factors:

  • Experience: Typically, firms should have a level of experience that allows them to seamlessly plan and develop building projects. Do structuring issues need an engineer? They probably know ten great ones in your locale. Permits are being jammed up by zoning issues or legal muck? An experienced, trustworthy firm awaits for the call.
  • Relationships: The countless connections and relationships that a real estate development company has built over its years of service, along with the individual prowess of the firm’s employees, help to create a wealth of knowledge and resources not otherwise easily obtained without that firm.
  • Funding: As shown in a few of the examples in our list, some firms also have access to funding, financing, government grants and legal teams to make the process easier. Real estate development companies have probably seen and experienced most financial issues and have experience in remediating them.

What to Look for in a Real Estate Development Company

When selecting a real estate development company, there are few things to keep in mind. The following can help you make a decision about which development company to choose for your next real estate project:

  • Areas of expertise: Different firms have different areas of expertise that will be crucial to your success as a real estate investor. If you want to build an apartment complex that markets itself to lower-income tenants, you’ll want to partner with a development company that has experience in affordable housing. Likewise, if you want to create the next multistate one-up to, say, Tanger Outlets, you should choose a real estate development company that has handled expansive retail shopping plazas before.
  • Strengths and weaknesses: From land selection to acquiring the needed capital for such an undertaking, all real estate development companies have their strengths and weaknesses that you should be aware of.
  • Size and scope: Also, think about the future of the real estate venture. Is this a one-off development, or will this potentially go multicity or multistate? Will this new real estate development project become even bigger and cross into other countries? Having a team of well-versed and competent real estate development professionals will allow for faster and, usually, more successful results.

The Cost of a Real Estate Development Company

The final piece of the real estate development puzzle is the most important. It is perhaps the biggest barrier to entry while also the most defining key to success: money. All real estate investors need extensive capital to complete a real estate development project of any size. Unfortunately, it’s simply not possible to give an accurate price quote on something so nuanced and varied. We can, however, tell you that any real estate development project will be in the multimillion-dollar range. The sheer amount of work that goes into a real estate development project will require a healthy budget.

Another excellent way to still be involved in real estate development without having to personally become liable for such an expensive endeavor all at once is to invest in a real estate investment trust or REIT. This allows real estate investors to purchase shares in real estate development companies that own and develop properties, just like they would a regular stock purchase. According to Investopedia, REIT activities resulted in the distribution of $69 billion in dividend income in 2019. REITs are attractive to many investors due to the ease of entry and diversification, but they still retain the same market risks as other types of stock on the stock market.