NEW YORK, NY - The Lightstone Group today announced that it has launched Phoenix Development Partners, a new residential development firm focused on the metro New York market. Industry veteran Bill Scully has been tapped to oversee the division.
Phoenix will focus on developing larger scale rental housing in all of the five boroughs of New York and surrounding counties in partnership with institutional capital partners.
In August, the firm closed on the purchase of a prime development site at 50-01 2nd Street along the Long Island City waterfront. The property, which is adjacent to Rockrose and Avalon Bay's residential developments, is zoned for the development of an approximately 200,000-square-foot luxury apartment building. Phoenix is in the planning stages for a 220-unit complex, scheduled for completion in the fall of 2013, and is actively searching for additional development opportunities to construct multifamily buildings of 175,000 square feet or more.
"We are seeing numerous opportunities in the New York City multifamily market that make now an opportune time to launch Phoenix," stated David Lichenstein, Chairman of the Lightstone Group. "With our first deal closed under this new venture, we anticipate continued momentum as a result of our ability to act quickly on advantageous deals."
Scully, formerly a Managing Director at Cerberus Real Estate Capital Management and a partner at Apollo Real Estate Advisors, has assembled a highly experienced team to execute Phoenix's vision. Kasra Sanandaji, who previously held a senior acquisitions position at Stellar Management, has been named Managing Director of Acquisitions for Phoenix. Peter Rosenberg, formerly the Head of Development and Construction at Stellar Management and a Senior Construction Professional at Rockrose, will serve as Managing Director of Construction, and Donna Brandin, who previously served as Chief Financial Officer of publicly-traded Equity Residential Properties, was named Chief Financial Officer for the newly created firm.
"We believe in the strength of the New York market and want to participate in the value creation aspect of development rather than compete for finished product. This takes me back to my roots in the business and David and the team have a solid understanding of the risks we need to manage to be successful in the space," stated Scully.
Added Sanandaji, "We are extremely fortunate to have such an extraordinary team of professionals at what we believe to be a unique point in the real estate cycle. Our senior-most staff has developed more than three million square feet of ground-up construction, including more than two million square feet of ground-up rental housing in New York City."
Founded in 1988 by David Lichtenstein, The Lightstone Group has grown to become one of the largest privately held real estate companies in the United States. Its diversified portfolio of industrial, office, retail and residential real estate assets includes 10 million square feet of commercial space and more than 8,000 multifamily units in 20 states and Puerto Rico. The Lightstone Group manages its business through operating platforms, each focused on a specific real estate asset class. Headquartered in New York, The Lightstone Group employs more than 500 professionals.