Dov Hertz, who for years assembled land upon which Gary Barnett built skyscrapers, has left Extell Development to start his own real estate investment firm, The Real Deal has learned.
Hertz is among the industry’s most skillful practitioners of the art of assemblage, in which developers stealthily buy parcels of land piecemeal with an eye toward putting a large development site together on the cheap. He served at Extell for 13 years, most recently as executive vice president in charge of acquisitions. Among his deals: the Ring portfolio in Midtown South and land for towers such as One57, One Manhattan Square and the International Gem Tower. In addition to assembling development sites, Hertz handled air rights purchases and tenant buyouts.
“I’ve always wanted to launch my own shop, and in my own personal career path, it was a good time to get started,” Hertz told The Real Deal on Monday. His firm, DH Property Holdings, will focus on a broad range of property acquisitions across the five boroughs.
“I’m real estate agnostic – I’m more opportunity-based,” Hertz said. “I’ll let deal flow determine what I buy next.”
He started the firm late last month with Aaron Malitzky, who worked on asset management and underwriting at Meadow Partners. The company has the backing of a wealthy real estate family, whom Hertz declined to identify, as well as equity funds.
His exit from Extell comes at a time when Barnett has his hands full. Extell recently secured financing for two of its most ambitious projects to date: $500 million in construction financing for One Manhattan Square and $300 million from equity partner SMI USA for Central Park Tower.
But Hertz insists the timing is coincidental: “Extell always has a lot going on,” he said. “My leaving has nothing to do with Extell.”