Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Zell Tackles Overhaul at Equity Commonwealth: Real Estate

Since taking over Equity Commonwealth in an investor-led revolt almost three months ago, Sam Zell and his team have found buyers for more than $200 million of properties, sold shares in a former unit and moved the company’s headquarters. Now they face a bigger challenge.

Zell and one of his longtime deputies, David Helfand, must remake the Chicago-based office landlord after an ouster of top executives based on claims of mismanagement and a misdirected strategy. They’re in charge of a disparate group of more than 100 properties in U.S. suburbs and markets where rent growth is slower than in big cities such as New York and San Francisco.