What we do

The Pinyon Group is a full-service real estate investment and advisory firm headquartered in Los Angeles, California.

We operate two primary lines of business: 1) our Investment Management business, and 2) our Advisory & Consulting business.

We created our Investment Management business to generate long-term sustainable wealth for our like-minded partners. We believe that our disciplined value-investing approach to real estate investing, our commitment to positive change, our creative and nimble asset management capabilities, and our careful alignment of the firm’s incentives with our partners’ interests contributes to our market out-performance. Our Investments business primarily operates through property- and/or strategy-specific investment vehicles. We also work with our partners to coordinate and manage a wide variety of wealth-preservation and philanthropic endeavors.

We created our Advisory & Consulting business to help our clients and partners make better decisions and contributions. We offer a broad array of institutional-caliber services and solutions that add sophisticated, creative, and reliable capacity to the real estate acquisition, investment, lending, servicing, management, development, and disposition activities of public and private real estate companies, investment funds, government and non-profit entities, family-offices, foundations, and individuals.

Why we do it

The Pinyon Group is deeply committed to addressing issues of sustainable urban design and development, and social and environmental equity through thoughtful contextual real estate projects. We enjoy the challenge and creativity of utilizing a multitude of market-based public policy and financing tools to achieve these ends.

Who we are

Institutional Sophistication. Entrepreneurial Zeal.

As former institutional real estate fund managers, the principals of The Pinyon Group have served as trusted fiduciaries to national pension funds, insurance companies, high net worth investors and family offices. The Pinyon Group combines best-in-class underwriting and financial analysis with entrepreneurial zeal and creative place making.


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The Pinyon Group was founded by Robert T. De Forest in 2010. Since that time, Robert has personally worked for and with his partners and clients to successfully originate, underwrite, close, develop, and/or provide advisory services for $1.25 billion of urban real estate and/or real estate secured notes. Robert has experience in all forms of residential and mixed-use development and investment–from for-sale housing to multi-family rental housing as well as affordable housing and market-rate urban residential and commercial development. He has a deep passion for projects that leave a positive impact and which advance worthy public-policy goals.

Robert credits his ability to uncover and execute under-appreciated investment opportunities to his unique multi-disciplinary background, combined with a heavy focus on risk-adjusted value investing. This disciplined focus, enhanced by a sophisticated understanding of land-use policies, capital markets, and the innovative use of complex financial structures (including tax-credits and public/private partnerships) has earned Robert a reputation as an innovative thought-leader in the field of urban investing and economic development.

Prior to founding the firm in 2010, Robert served as Vice President of Phoenix Realty Group (PRG), a New York-based “double-bottom-line” real estate private equity fund manager, where he was a key acquisition officer for the Western Region—investing $317 million closed‐end private equity funds in urban residential and commercial properties and/or real estate secured notes. Following the onset of the Global Financial Crisis, Robert was tapped by the CEO to head up the firm’s Special Assets Unit. Fund investors included America’s leading pension funds, insurance companies, endowments, and banks.

Prior to that, Robert was Urban Projects Specialist with the Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority, a government public entity established under State of California Joint Powers Act. In this capacity, Robert was involved in planning, developing and programming a portfolio of award-winning urban parks and open space for an organization that owns and/or manages over 60,000 acres of public land.

Robert is a loyal and dedicated, “triple-Bruin” – he holds a M.B.A. from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, a M.A. in Urban Planning from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, and a B.S. in Biology from UCLA – and currently serves as Ex-Officio President of the Executive Board of the UCLA Real Estate Alumni Group, and is a member of its Endowment Circle. He has appeared in publications including Bloomberg News, BusinessWeek Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times. He resides in Los Angeles, California with his wife and two young daughters.


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Jay Stark has a successful track record of joint venture real estate projects as both an investor and developer with institutional clients; and has completed over $3 billion in primarily residential-based real estate across the broad spectrum of residential opportunities including but not limited to affordable housing, for sale homes, multi-family properties and mixed-use properties.

Prior to joining The Pinyon Group, Jay served as an advisor and joint venture partner to a national urban development firm, where he executed over $500M in new commercial and residential development opportunities across the United States, focused primarily in Northern California, Denver, Dallas, Atlanta as well as other sub-markets. The projects included a 165-acre urban master plan, a new movie studio campus, high rise residential developments and various multi-family properties.

Previously, Jay served as managing director and co-founder of Urban Private Equity Funds for Phoenix Realty Group (PRG) where he targeted investments in urban residential and commercial properties–and was responsible for origination, underwriting, due diligence and closing of the firm’s equity investments. He was also a member of both the national Investment Committee and Executive Committee.

Prior to joining PRG, Jay was a Partner and Director of Development for The Lee Group, Inc., a leading urban residential development company where he was involved in the development of over $300 million of urban housing in Southern California. At The Lee Group, he was involved in all aspects of the residential business including land acquisition, master planning, product development, entitlements, financing, construction and sales and marketing.

Jay served on the State of California’s principal Affordable Housing Committee from 2005 to 2012, the Department of Housing and Community Development’s (HCD) Local Assistance Loan and Grant Committee. There he oversaw more than 20 state-wide affordable housing and infrastructure programs, including the $2.5 billion Proposition 1C bond measure, which includes funding for transit-based housing, urban infill development and related affordable housing initiatives throughout California.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz and a master’s degree from the University of Southern California in Urban Planning and Real Estate Development.

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