David Lichtenstein Doesn't Like Competition
Lightstone Group CEO David Lichtenstein (a panelist at Bisnow's 5th Annual NYC Multifamily Summit on March 27 by signing up here) says the way to succeed is to find a niche that’s not crowded—an area where one can do business without “taking something away from someone else.” First, that meant its national line of Paragon Outlet malls (the most recent are underway in the Bronx, next to the Mall of America, and in Baltimore, the market’s first within City limits). By ’08, that meant buying limited-service hotels via distressed sales (it buys two a month now). And now…
… Lightstone is doing apartments. His reason for doing a 63-story apartment building on Fulton Street when everyone else is building condos: 12M SF of office (bigger than Downtown Atlanta) under construction there translates to 60,000 new jobs, but zero rental residences are going up. David’s “just assuming” enough of those new workers will want to rent Downtown to produce revenue. He adds that building residential near Frank Gehry’s 8 Spruce St is like walking into a party next to Brad Pitt. His company also is digging into the ground for 700k SF of apartments along the Gowanus (rendered above) that he says will be the “Brooklyn Riviera” and recently delivered the 199-unit Gantry Park Landing in LIC.
David spoke yesterday at a Young Women’s/Men’s Real Estate Association lunch, where we also snapped CBRE’s Gregg Rothkin and Peter Turchin, who lead the leasing team for Lightstone’s 1.1M SF 1407 Broadway. David says his company is reinventing the multi-tenant office building for tech firms and likely will update the multi-tenant ground-floor retail, too, to a two-story block of space with glass wrapping around 39th and Broadway.