Equity LifeStyle Properties, Inc.
Contrarian play to top performer
ELS was the first of three private, internally managed commercial real estate portfolios we took public in the 1990s. At the time, the manufactured home community industry was nascent and down market; even in the world of real estate it was a contrarian play. Twelve years later, when acquisition opportunities stalled due to constrained supply, we identified a new channel of growth with RV parks. The parks had similar fundamentals to manufactured home communities and required the same type of management. Today, ELS provides one of the most consistently high returns of any REIT since IPO, and it is the largest owner of manufactured home communities and RV parks in the country. Sam Zell still serves as the company’s Chairman.