Real Estate Startup Adds Former NYC Deputy Mayor to Its Board

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(Bloomberg) -- Lex Markets Corp., a startup that allows investors to make small bets on commercial real estate, has added two new board members.

Alicia Glen, a former deputy mayor of New York, and Marty Edelman, an attorney at Paul Hastings, are joining the company as directors.

Real Estate Startup Adds Former NYC Deputy Mayor to Its Board

Glen, who was deputy mayor for housing and economic development under Bill de Blasio, previously spent more than a decade at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., where she led the bank’s urban investment group.

“By creating a marketplace for individuals to invest in commercial properties, Lex enables communities to directly benefit from the appreciation of buildings they shop, dine and work in,” Glen said in a statement.

Edelman, who is also on the boards of Blackstone Mortgage Trust Inc. and Equity Commonwealth, said in the statement that he’s looking forward to supporting the Lex team.

Lex lets investors back properties with as little $100 at a time, turning stakes in buildings into securities that can be traded on its platform. The company, founded by brothers Drew and Dean Sterrett, has advisers including Chairman Craig Hatkoff, who is also on the boards of Colony Capital Inc. and SL Green Realty Corp., and Greycroft co-founder Alan Patricof.

Greycroft is an investor in the company alongside Thor Equities, the Joseph Sitt-led firm that invests in commercial real estate, including warehouses, life sciences properties and hotels.

Commercial real estate is facing a reckoning as the Covid-19 pandemic shutters businesses and forces many workers to stay at home. Dislocations in real estate equities and the commercial mortgage market have created unprecedented challenges and opportunities, according to Drew Sterrett, chief executive officer of Lex.

“We’ve seen a large increase in the number of incumbent institutional real estate market players looking for new sources of capital,” he said, adding that the crisis has helped highlight the company’s ability to corral financing for minority-equity positions.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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