Izak Senbahar was born in Istanbul in 1959 and moved to the U.S. in 1977 to attend The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, he moved to New York, where he earned his Master’s Degree in Finance from New York University. Before entering the Real Estate market, Senbahar was a gold trader for the French financial firm Sucre et Denrées.
Alexico Group LLC (Alexicogroup.com), a real estate development firm based in New York, currently has more than $2 billion of projects under development, including The Mark Hotel, The Laurel, and 56 Leonard Street. Alexico Group’s President Izak Senbahar has more than 25 years experience in development, construction, ownership and management of real estate. With a portfolio of projects that has included some of New York’s most prestigious properties, Izak Senbahar is recognized as a leader in luxury development with an eye towards world class architecture and design.
1) How and why did you get into the hospitality industry?
I got in it because I am fascinated by hotels.
2) What do you believe are your most successful decisions and biggest mistakes and what did you learn from your mistakes?
My most successful decision (in the hotel business) was to buy The Mark and move in to the uber- luxury segment of the industry. My biggest mistake (again in the hotel business) is the fact that I built or bought several hotels in different segments and I did not enjoy the process of being involved in B hotels. I enjoy aesthetics. I am a perfectionist. I enjoy giving our guests an unparalleled experience.
3) How do you capitalize on an industry where trendy boutique hotels are opening so rapidly?
Keep your eye on your product. Product is everything. Guest experience is everything. Don’t worry about things you cannot control.
4) How do you differentiate The Mark hotel from other luxury hotels?
We thrive for perfection in every department. Guest comfort, privacy and satisfaction is our number one priority. There is no “No” in our vocabulary.
5) What products do you cross-market with and how do you think they contribute to the Alexico/Mark brand?
Branding is very important. Your brand is your religion. It is sacred. Partnering with other brands is a very delicate issue for us. We will only do it with brands which we believe will enhance our guests’ satisfaction. Our design partner is Jacques Grange. Our F&B partner is Jean Georges. Our spa partner is Frederic Fekkai. Our shoe care service is through John Lobb. Our exclusive scent partnership is with Frederic Malle. Besides our own super trainer Daniel Flores, Punch Fitness powers our Fitness Center. We have a 24/7 shopping partnership with Bergdorf Goodman.
6) What is your mantra/life quote?
Treat people the way you want to be treated yourself.
Located on New York’s Upper East Side in a beautiful 1927 landmark building, The Mark Hotel is housed at the corner of Madison Avenue and 77th Street. In 2009 The Mark was completely reimagined and given new life and identity for the 21st century. The Mark combines old-world comfort, avant-garde design, up-to-the-minute technologies and an unprecedented level of personal service.
Drawing on the expertise of an extraordinary group of talents - foremost among them the designer Jacques Grange, Michelin three star chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, the world’s most celebrated hairstylist Frédéric Fekkai and visionary hotel manager Olivier Lordonnois - The Mark hotel is the new beacon of high French style, immaculate service and American technology and comfort.