"There's no such thing as the best space to invest in," said real estate rock star Barry Sternlicht (middle) at a Georgetown U panel last night. The Starwood Capital CEO (flanked by Green Street's Mike Kirby and NAREIT CEO Steve Wechsler) adds it's all about how much risk an investor is willing to take. But you have to swing big to find success, Barry says, likening investing to Babe Ruth, who retired as both the home run king and career strikeout leader. Two places Barry wouldn't invest, though? China (since it's "a company masquerading as a country") and France, since it's so heavily unionized.
Barry's discussion (hosted by the McDonough School of Business' Real Estate Finance Initiative) followed a panel featuring Cerebrus Capital's Ron Kravit, GreenOak Capital's Sonny Kalsi, and Carlyle head of international real estate Adam Metz. Adam, who famously led General Growth Properties out of the largest real estate bankruptcy ever, says we're in a good spot in the cycle since supply isn't out of whack (except for multifamily). Sonny, formerly head of Morgan Stanley's real estate arm, says he likes LA as an investment destination since it's lagging behind other big markets in the cycle. (Is it lagging or just sitting in traffic on the 405?)