October 24, 2016

CEO Spotlight

Water Works

Martha Brannigan | 3/1/2006
CEO / Lionstone Development
Miami Beach

Born: Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1968

Business: Family enterprise founded 30 years ago by Diego's father, Alfredo Lowenstein. Develops and manages residential property, casinos and hotels.

Strategy: "Real estate is about location. We're all about the water, all waterfront. That's key to us."

Good timing: His family left Argentina in 1999 before the economy unraveled.

Miami's prospects: "Look at the geography. Look at the climate. If we could only figure out how to deal with the hurricanes, this would be paradise."

Key ventures: Turned the DiLido Hotel into the Ritz-Carlton South Beach. Owns the Hilton Curacao and Breezes Curacao Resort.

On the horizon: A partner in the Epic complex on the site of Miami's old Dupont Plaza, including a hotel, condos and shops. Other plans include turning the Seville Hotel into the Ritz-Carlton Club and Residences South Beach, a complex with hotel and fractional-owned and wholly owned condo units in partnership with Fortune International.

Decision-making: Close ties to his father, who is Lionstone's chairman, makes for fast decisions and easy communication. "Sometimes it takes two words with my father, and we understand."

Challenges: Construction costs have grown by leaps and bounds. A limited supply of contractors and high commodity costs.

Tags: Miami-Dade

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