James Wacht, a native New Yorker, has been active in the real estate industry since 1981. He currently serves as President of Sierra Real Estate and President of Lee & Associates NYC (Lee NYC). Mr. Wacht began his career as a real estate attorney with Bachner, Tally, Misher, Brinberg & Polevoy, where he honed his professional skills representing institutional real estate companies and entrepreneurial business people from every facet of the real estate industry, including commercial leasing, property acquisitions and mortgage financings, and real estate syndications. In 1989, he was invited to join his client, Sierra Realty Corp. (the predecessor to Sierra Real Estate), as its general counsel; he became its president and principal owner in 2000. During his tenure at Sierra, Mr. Wacht engineered the growth of the Company from a small real estate management firm to the full-service real estate company it is today. His achievements were recognized in 2010 by Real Estate Weekly when he was named one of its “Industry Leaders.” The Commercial Observer named him one of New York City’s 40 most active landlords in 2012 and 2013. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the national Lee & Associates Company.
Mr. Wacht’s commitment to industry, philanthropic, and civic causes is as strong as his professional accomplishments. He was recently appointed to serve on the Real Estate Board of New York Board of Governors. He also serves on numerous other boards, including: the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of The Community Housing Improvement Program, an advocacy organization of owners of multi family housing; the Board of Directors of Housing New York PAC, a political action committee formed to support local elected officials who favor sensible housing legislation; and the Board of Directors of the New York Council for The Appleseed Foundation, a not-for-profit organization comprising 16 justice centers in the United States and Mexico. He also has served on The Board of Directors of the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, where he spearheaded efforts to establish music programs in public schools throughout the South Bronx and in other underserved New York City communities. Mr. Wacht is a highly-published commentator on the real estate industry, and on numerous other relevant topics of the day. He holds the Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Juris Doctorate from the Boston University School of Law.