Lightstone Group names new president

Real estate veteran Mitchell Hochberg will take position, as firm ramps up New York City presence

Peyton Owen and Mitchell Hochberg
Peyton Owen and Mitchell Hochberg

The Lightstone Group, one of the country’s largest private real estate owners, will promote Chief Investment Officer Mitchell Hochberg to president of the firm, when current president Peyton Owen retires, representatives for the group told The Real Deal.

The firm has recently ramped up its New York City presence, with projects in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. The group owns multifamily, office, industrial, hotel and retail properties in 19 states.

Hochberg is a real estate veteran of more than 30 years, most recently working as the managing principal of Madden Real Estate Ventures, an investment and development group which merged with Lightstone earlier this year.

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Owen, who joined Lightstone in 2007, will stay on as president of two of its non-traded real estate investment trusts: Lightstone Value Plus Real Estate Investment Trust and Lightstone Value Plus Real Estate Investment Trust – II, a statement from the company said.

Lightstone said it specializes in turning around “undervalued” properties. The company is hoping to turn the Whitestone Multiplex Cinema site in Castle Hill, the Bronx, into New York City’s first outlet mall and is also at work on a massive mixed-use project on the Gowanus Canal at 363-365 Bond Street between Carroll and 2nd streets. There, the firm has come under fire from local residents and City Councilman Brad Lander for trying to expand that project to include 700 residential units, rather than about 450, and for building on land some believe could be polluted by the canal, a federal Superfund site.

The firm entered the New York City market last year with the $19 million purchase of a residential development site at 50-01 2nd Street in Long Island City.