Starwood Capital Group, a private investment firm and sponsor of non-traded direct investment programs, has hired Anthony Balestrieri as a senior vice president to lead its opportunity zone investment business. Balestrieri joins the company from MetLife Real Estate Investors, where he most recently served as director and head of acquisitions in Washington, D.C.
The opportunity zone program was created by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to offer investors capital gains tax relief for new investments in certain economically distressed areas nationwide that are designated as opportunity zones. Starwood said that it currently has 58 properties located in these zones.
In his new role, Balestrieri will be responsible for identifying investment opportunities and structuring transactions within these qualified opportunity zones. Starwood said that his experience across all aspects of commercial real estate investing, including acquisitions, asset management, underwriting and financial and market analysis, will be instrumental in developing its opportunity zone strategy.
Starwood plans to focus its strategy on markets in regions where the firm has developed a real estate presence, including the West Coast, Southeast and large metropolitan markets such as New York City and Washington, D.C.
“Anthony brings a unique skill set and a proven track record to Starwood, and we are excited to welcome him to the firm,” said Christopher Graham, senior managing director and head of real estate acquisitions for the Americas. “We believe Anthony will be a great addition to our talented professional team as we capitalize on the market opportunity to build our opportunity zone investment portfolio and continue to deliver attractive returns to our investors.”
In his position at MetLife, Balestrieri developed and led the implementation of equity investment strategy and supported asset management efforts. Before joining MetLife, he was the director of acquisitions and development at Tishman Speyer.
Starwood Capital Group focuses on investing in global real estate, energy infrastructure, and oil and gas. The firm and its affiliates maintain 13 offices in five countries around the world, and currently have approximately 4,000 employees. Since its inception in 1991, Starwood Capital Group has raised $45 billion of equity capital, and currently has in excess of $60 billion of assets under management.