Alisa Freundlich

Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel

Lexington Commercial Holdings Inc.

Claim to Fame: Leading negotiations on Beverly Lane project

Alisa Freundlich already had a very successful career as a lawyer when multimillionaire investor Louis Gonda picked her to spearhead his growing real estate empire.

Freundlich, a graduate of Loyola Law School, honed her deal-making skills practicing real estate law for 12 years at several Los Angeles firms. In the last of these positions, she was of counsel at Christensen Miller Fink Jacobs Glaser Weil & Shapiro, handling commercial real estate acquisitions and financing for several large developers. "She fought for her clients interests' ferociously," recalled Peter Weil, her former boss and head of the firm's real estate department.

Freundlich is bringing that aggressiveness to bear now as manager of a portfolio of office, retail and entertainment properties owned by Gonda's Beverly Hills-based Lexington Commercial Holdings Inc. Gonda, who had been one of Freundlich's clients, was impressed by her deal-making savvy and two years ago asked her to help him manage one of his pet projects: Beverly Lane, a retail and family entertainment complex to be built in Beverly Hills' Golden Triangle.

Lexington and MadisonMarquette are seeking approval from city officials to develop a mix of shopping, dining and entertainment facilities on a parcel owned by Gonda on Beverly Drive. On May 24, toy retailer FAO Schwarz signed on to be the project's anchor store.

"Lou wants to bring something wonderful to the community," Freundlich said. "It's for families and to be a community gathering place."

Beverly Lane is far from Freundlich's only venture. In 1998, she helped Lexington sell one its major properties the two-tower downtown Figueroa Plaza that was purchased for $77 million. She is also moving Lexington into the public storage business.

Lexington is the largest investor in Stor America, a growing personal storage company. Freundlich is assisting Stor America founder Vicky Schiff in the rapid acquisition of storage space for the firm. Within the past year, Freundlich said Stor America has obtained more than 1 million square feet of space in California and several other Western states.

Rebecca Kuzins

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