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Commercial Observer

2024 Commercial Observer Power 100: David Lichtenstein and Mitchell Hochberg

Mitchell Hochberg and David Lichtenstein
President; Chairman and CEO at Lightstone Group
Last year’s rank: 60


By Nick Trombola
May 10, 2024 9:00 AM

David Lichtenstein’s Lightstone Group may have started out in the late 1980s as a humble residential-focused firm, but it has grown into a diversified real estate empire with a 209-building portfolio spanning 26 states.

Lightstone’s multifamily platform is still the foundation and largest aspect of its business — some 25,000 units of mostly workforce housing — but these days it’s a big fish in an even bigger pond. The firm now has over 12 million square feet in industrial and retail properties under its wing, along with another 1 million square feet in life sciences. There are also thriving venture capital, lending and reinsurance platforms, and, oh yeah, a 5,100-key hotel enterprise under its Moxy brand, together with partner Marriott.

“[That diversification] happened naturally over time,” Mitchell Hochberg said. “But there was a decision about 12 to 15 years ago that it would be a good idea to take the expertise that the company had developed in investing and financing, and expand it to areas other than what was, at the time retail and multifamily. And we’ve been fortunate enough to be able to grow verticals in those areas.”

Hochberg, who joined the firm in 2012, is largely the driving force behind Moxy, bringing to Lightstone his expertise in developing hotels gained during his stints as president and COO of the Ian Schrager Company, and later as founder and managing principal of Madden Real Estate Ventures.

Since launching in 2014, Moxy has accumulated 28 properties, eight of which were developed by Lightstone. That includes the 37-story Moxy Downtown Los Angeles, which shares a roof with AC Hotel by Marriott Downtown L.A., which opened last spring.

The one notable exception to Lightstone’s portfolio is the complete lack of office space — an aspect of the firm’s business that, to Hochberg, has clearly panned out over the past few years.

“It’s an area that we have really not been that comfortable in, particularly in New York, and we’ve benefited greatly by not having the distraction of having to deal with an office portfolio this year, which I think allowed us to focus on other opportunities, and put more capital into them, than a lot of the other diversified owners probably could.”

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