Urban Land Institute
MIT Center For Real Estate
Columbia University GSAAP
NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate
Davos World Economic Forum
Private Equity, M&A, and Venture Capital Investment Group
Private Equity International Network
- National Hospitality Group
Mr. Kessler began his entrepreneurial career in 1982 while attending NYU College of Arts & Science. Henri M. Kessler Co-Founded HH Associates Ltd., an international public relations and promotions firm with offices in NY, LA, and Paris, focusing on Hospitality, Restaurants & Nightclubs: Studio 54, Xenon, Underground, Red Parrot, Area, Limelight, Palladium, Au Bar, The Tunnel and restaurants MK, Bowery Bar, and Tao Group Co-Founder Marc Packer’s first restaurant, Canastel’s. This is when he first started identifying Commercial Real Estate opportunities in New York City.
Mr. Kessler was approached by a group of investors in 1987 that included Hedge Fund titan John Paulson and Real Estate developer Alf Namen, to build and run a premier New York Nightclub, Kessler and famed Interior Designer Mark Zeff created the Grolier. With a $2,000,000. investment, Kessler secured a signed 35-year lease, he began a one-year development, construction and restoration of the 10,000 sq. ft. NYC landmark. The Grolier Supper Club was in the original landmarked 1888 Grolier Publishing Townhouse located at 29 East 32nd St. The Grolier became one of New York’s most popular hot spots, hosting celebrities like John Kennedy Jr., Clive Davis, Whitney Houston, Roger Daltry, David Lee Roth, Brook Shields and many others. He sold the triple net lease to new operators in 1992, his first commercial retail deal.
In 1996 Henri M. Kessler secured 17,000 sq. ft. of office space for his Film & TV production company, Offline Entertainment, in the Starrett-Lehigh Building, located at 601 West 26th street. He worked closely with Real Estate investor Harry Skydell, an early adapter to gentrification of Chelsea and the Highline district. The building is an integral part of the emerging West Chelsea area and is synonymous with innovation, inspiration and uncompromised creativity.
In 1998 Mr. Kessler personally acquired “Shatamuc”, an 1883 Historic Mediterranean Style Villa on the Hudson River in Malden-On-Hudson, in New York’s Hudson Valley. He undertook the hands-on renovation & restoration of the majestic residence featuring a 5-bedroom main 3000 sq. ft. house, with a 1-bedroom guesthouse, 4 out-buildings and 6 acres of land with riparian rights. His eye for detail and design combined with early insight to the now thriving Catskills residential real estate market yielded him a 300% ROI in 2003.
In 2004, Mr. Kessler Co-Founded as President & Treasurer of The Motion Picture Group, Inc. A publicly listed production finance and services company whose common stock traded on the OTC market under the ticker symbol MPRG. The company was created to meet the needs of the international entertainment industry. After a successful 2-year position at MPRG, during that time Kessler moved to LA and soon began running the feature Film & TV divisions at the Robert Evans Company, located on the Paramount Pictures Studio lot in Hollywood. There he developed a working relationship with the Executive Vice President of Licensing at Paramount Pictures and Founded Woodland Hotel & Resort Group, LLC that started identifying real estate opportunities for Paramount Pictures inspired Hotels in North America.
During the time as a Producer, under Kessler’s leadership and management, he produced and developed over 25 titles that received the Sundance Grand Jury Prize, Cannes Camera d’Or, IFP Gotham Award, a Nomination for an IFP Independent Spirit Award and a Nomination for a Best Foreign Film Academy Award.