This series delves into the myriad ways people enter the commercial real estate industry and what contributes to their success.
Eric Birnbaum fell in love with commercial real estate development at first sight. He was a self-described "disgruntled investment banker" working at Bear Stearns when he saw his father-in-law, Alan Landis, working through a development deal.
He knew he wanted in, and in 2003, he got his wish with a job at Vornado Realty. He closed more than $1B in acquisitions, capital markets and development deals there and confirmed his love for the industry. Since then, Birnbaum has founded three companies primarily focused on hospitality and residential development: ELB Holdings in '08; Imperial Cos. in 2014 with the former CEO of Vornado, Michael Fascitelli; and Dreamscape in 2019.
Birnbaum is now all-in on Dreamscape — since its inception in 2019, he has raised $1B for its hospitality fund and has been buying multifamily and hotel properties across the U.S., including in Miami, New York, New Orleans and Charleston. Dreamscape recently acquired the 2,522-room Rio All-Suite Hotel & Resort in Las Vegas from Caesars for $516.3M. He said he sees the lines between multifamily and hospitality blurring and looks for deals with a lifestyle bend to them.
Birnbaum is a New York City native with a love for Tal Bagels and the Mets, and he said he believes the city, including its hospitality industry, will come back strong from the coronavirus pandemic. He has a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Pennsylvania, and he is an avid runner. He lives in Manhattan's Upper East Side with his wife, their three kids, and their Goldendoodle, Cooper.
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