Louis Ceruzzi has made a name for himself over the past 25 years as a real estate entrepreneur and, more recently, as a restauranteur. His experience includes property management, development, and ownership.
As a graduate of Georgetown University then New York University School of Law, Ceruzzi began his career in tax law before making the move into real estate. For a long time his focus was on commercial and residential property management. Then he made the move into restaurant ownership.
Ceruzzi Real Estate History
In 1997 Ceruzzi formed a partnership with Starwood Capital Group (based in Connecticut). Together they formed Starwood Ceruzzi LLC, which quickly became one of the largest privately held real estate companies in the U.S. With the assistance of Starwood Capital, Ceruzzi Properties was able to expand its reputation as a developer of choice for high credit retailers such as Target and Home Depot. The Starwood Ceruzzi retail portfolio was acquired by Inland Western Real Estate Trust, Inc. for $430 million in 2005.
In 2000 Ceruzzi, as head of Starwood Ceruzzi was best known for transforming old shopping centers and converting them into “big box” retail establishments – giving them new life and usefulness. It was a noble cause and one that brought Ceruzzi much success and renown.
Ceruzzi had initially held great interest in developing hotels. Eventually, though, he sold his hotel business to Starwood Capital so that he could focus his real estate investing energy to high-rise residential and retail ventures. He has recently partners with Beaumont Partners to develop TheISOLA-San Antonio. The 576 unit residential luxury complex is located in San Antonio, Texas and is a joint venture with Beaumont Partners.
TheISOLA seeks to create an apartment living community that offers the amenities you expect to find in a hotel. This includes things like upscale restaurants, bars, spas. Gyms, and hotel services. The idea is to have the property filled with at least 50 percent permanent residents with the remaining property serving hotel guests.
One thing that sets TheISOLA apart from other similar ventures is that the cost of food is included in the lease or per night fee for hotel guests. This actually helps to save money while providing guests and residents alike with healthy and delicious chef-prepared meals. Ceruzzi has the eventual goal of applying this type of model to many metropolitan markets throughout the country.
Ceruzzi Restaurant Ventures
Among his past and present restaurant properties are establishments that are recognized by Michelin and Zagat, such as Bottega del Vino a restaurant that featured one of the most extensive wine collections in New York City. Unfortunately, Bottega del Vino closed on January 1, 2016 after the building was sold and the new owners decided against renewing the restaurant’s lease.
Ceruzzi still owns other restaurants in New York City including Bar Roma, located on Madison Avenue at 88th and Madison, Via Quadronno with two locations. One on East 73rd Street between Madison and 5th Avenue and the other on East 92nd Street between Lexington and 3rd Avenue.
Ceruzzi recently announced that he will be opening a new restaurant in Washington DC, The National, in partnership with famed chef Geoffrey Zakarian. The restaurant will be located in Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC. The restaurant, slated to open mid-2016. The opening will take place once a $200 million renovation to the Old Post Office is complete.
Other Current Ceruzzi Ventures
Of course that doesn’t mean Ceruzzi is leaving the world of real estate development behind. In fact, he has plenty of projects in the works at the moment. It’s a wonder how he finds time to sleep. Ceruzzi Properties has recently decided to expand its Midtown offices located at 400 Park Avenue, adding nearly 7,000 square feet of space to its initial 8,772 square foot footprint. This gives Ceruzzi the entire fifth floor for the next ten years.
The Personal Life of Louis Ceruzzi
Louis Ceruzzi is a family man. He is the married father of two children who have both been brought into the business in different ways. His 34-year-old daughter, Gabrielle works in the office of one of the companies in which Ceruzzi is an investor and his son, James, who is a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina works in a student housing company, Park-7 Group, in which his father is a major partner.
From somewhat humble origins, Ceruzzi has managed to create quite an impressive empire of retail, hotel, residential, commercial, and restaurant properties. Yet his eyes remain on the horizon, seeking out new possibilities in real estate markets throughout the United States.
With the development of TheISOLA in San Antonio and The National in DC along with expanding offices and new developments in the works in Manhattan, it’s no wonder that Ceruzzi is a very busy man with a profitable future ahead of him.