Lightstone Group makes comeback with big-ticket New York projects

David Lichtenstein and a rendering of the Gowanus project
David Lichtenstein and a rendering of the Gowanus project

Updated, 11:44 a.m., May 3: Just a few years after the Extended Stay hotel chain debacle, the Lightstone Group’s chief executive officer David Lichtenstein has made a strong statement in the New York City market, and now has several major projects in the works, the New York Times reported.

In 2009, only two years after Lichtenstein bought a portfolio of nearly 700 Extended Stay Hotels for $8 billion –mostly financed through debt – he put the hotel chain into bankruptcy protection, which he told the Times was a “humbling” experience. Now, however, Lightstone has several big-ticket projects on the agenda. 

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These include a 700-unit rental development at 363-365 Bond Street on the Gowanus Canal, an outlet mall in the Bronx (the city’s first) in partnership with the Macerich Company, and a 450,000-square-foot retail and residential tower in Lower Manhattan, as The Real Deal previously reported. A fourth project, a 12-story, 199-unit residential development at Second Street and 50th Avenue in Long Island City, is well underway.

Lichtenstein previously steered clear of the New York market, despite being a native son of Brooklyn, but the city’s resiliency after the recession drew him back, he told the Times.

“People from all over the world want to be in New York,” he said. “This rather simple idea took me a long time to learn.” [NYT]  – Hiten Samtani