About us

Citadel RE & Investments LLC is a real estate development firm focused on real estate projects in the Bay Area. Headquartered in San Francisco, the firm unites under one roof a team of executives with experience in finance and development together with leading real estate professionals. By bringing a diverse set of perspectives (financial, legal, public and private) to challenging situations, Citadel is able to source and structure unique transactions that generate superior risk adjusted returns.

Meet the team

1399

Carl Le

Chief Executive Officer & Managing Partner

Carl Le, the founder of Citadel Investments, comes from a highly regarded real estate lineage. His paternal grandfather was the foremost architect in Saigon, Vietnam during the French and US occupation of Southern Vietnam, and was involved in most of the major landmark buildings including Saigon’s famed landmark Hotel Rex. His maternal grandfather was a hotel tycoon, with properties in almost every major city.

Carl’s entire family legally immigrated to the US in 1991. At the age of 12, Carl built his first PC, and from 13, he worked constantly, earning money to support his passion for computers and software. At an early age, Carl knew he wanted to invest in real estate, and by the time he was 26, he had already invested in over ten properties.

A superior student, he brought his years of studying marketing and his quickly growing skills to a financial services career at the young age of 21, and quickly rose through the ranks of many of the top mortgage lending companies and investment banks including Wells Fargo, Bank of America, New Century Mortgage, Lehman Brothers and Credit Suisse. In 2013 he was promoted to Area Sales Manager, where he managed three mortgage banking branches with over 25 employees for First California Mortgage and became the in-house preferred lender for a large real estate development company in the Bay Area. This planted the seed which led to the formation and launch of Citadel RE & Investments LLC.

1103

Monica Covington

Chief Risk Officer

Monica Covington is the Chief Risk Officer of Citadel RE & Investments LLC and Luxury Residential Specialist with Intero Real Estate, a Berkshire Hathaway Affiliate located in Los Gatos, California. Monica is a graduate of The University of Oklahoma, where she received a BFA in art and design.

After graduation, Monica launched her career in Silicon Valley, where she began her specialization in residential sales and real estate development. That led her to partner with prominent developers, real estate investors and homeowners.  She acts as real estate advisor, risk analyst, negotiation expert, project manager and design consultant.  Monica believes in the global aspect of her local real estate practice and regularly attends international conferences. She continues to grow relationships within the real estate community in Mainland China and throughout Asia.

1397

Erik Alberts

Director of Wholesale Channels

Erik Alberts is the Managing Partner of Real Estate Equity Builder (REquitybuilder.com), a subsidiary of Citadel RE & Investments LLC, with the primary focus of creating a wholesale real-estate marketplace for buyers and sellers of off-market properties.  REquitybuilder.com allows buyers access to unique properties not on the MLS or TAN (Top Agent Network). Sellers are able to list a property outside of the MLS to a pool of interested qualified buyers, while still maintaining full engagement with local realtors.

A Bay area native, Erik combines over 20 years of technology industry experience with a concurrent 15 years of real estate investing experience, including development, mixed use, and income properties in both Santa Clara and San Francisco counties.

A licensed real estate agent with the San Francisco Association of Realtors, he also co-authored the book, Customer Service DNA:  Building Blocks for Customer Loyalty, an Amazon best-seller. Erik has a degree in Managerial Economics from the University of California at Davis.

Malarie Raquel

Operations Manager

Malarie Raquel is the Operations Manager for Citadel Re & Investments LLC and Platinum Construction & Remodeling Inc. In early 2000 she began her Real Estate journey as an Escrow Assistant in her hometown of Stockton, Ca. She quickly advanced to be an Escrow Officer that same year and managed a successful refinance and resale desk until the year 2008. She relocated to the Bay Area where she continued her presence in the industry happily supporting a top producing escrow team. During this time, she also turned her hobby of cooking into a culinary career as a Catering Manager and In-House Team Leader. This extensive Client Service background has equipped her with the tools necessary to be the exceptional Operations Manager that she is today.  She is the first point of contact and focuses on developing and implementing the process for all day-to-day operations. Her passion for the business and level of care she provides to our clients is a source of great pride!

1104

The Formation of Citadel

In 2013, Carl made several observations that ignited him to form his own real estate investment company.

Carl noted that developers and ‘flippers’ were so focused on making money that they made the minimum amount of improvement needed to sell a property. Properties tended to look the same; they were done with cheap materials and little accountability for work. There was no originality, no innovation, no warranties, no branding and no customer support. Nothing elevated one company above another.

He also realized that in the future there would be a shortage of lucrative ‘fixer’ properties to snap up as there were fewer and fewer foreclosures or ‘short sales’ in high end areas of Silicon Valley.

With these observations top of mind, Carl formed Citadel RE & Investments LLC with several partners and investors. From a variety of both technical and financial backgrounds, together they assembled a team of over 15 talented members specializing in different areas: real estate development and finance, construction and renovation, architecture, design and state of the art technology.

 

To give Citadel a competitive edge, Carl and his team were enterprising and energetic in developing relationships and connections with business partners who could source lucrative off-market properties and in so doing sidestep competition. In just a few months, due to Carl’s instinct and efforts, Citadel had at least 30 off-market deals brought to them for review.

To be able to control quality, cost and service levels for their projects, Citadel formed Platinum Construction and Remodeling Inc. Later, they added the Platinum Flooring Company for additional leverage. With an in-house contractor group, Citadel was able to implement a Citadel + Platinum Construction Workmanship Warranty on all of their homes to assure buyers that their homes were renovated with the utmost attention to quality and detail.

Citadel formed dealer partnerships with Sonos and Nest so they could efficiently implement smart home features on their homes. Most Citadel homes now come with wall mounted iPads, Sonos speakers in each room, Nest Thermostats, Nest Smoke/Carbon Monoxide, Nest Drop Cams and an advanced three-stage alkaline drinking water system from Nuland.