The principals of Next Cities met 25 years ago, when we worked together to acquire and reposition troubled real estate assets. Throughout our careers in the institutional real estate world, we have weathered multiple cycles and we have built the skills and relationships that are necessary to turn ideas into reality. At Next Cities, this experience guides a strategy that evolved from our lifelong interest in cities, work environments, and innovation.


Jean-Michel “Mitch” Wasterlain

Prior to founding Next Cities, Mitch’s career has covered all aspects of real estate investment, financing, and development. He has served as CEO of ORIX Capital Markets, the US real estate and structured finance arm of a large Japanese finance company that managed a $12 billion portfolio of real estate assets. He also co-founded NorthStar Realty Finance, a public REIT with over $20 billion in assets, and served as its Chief Investment Officer. Mitch is also the co-founder of CAPFUNDR, an online platform that raises capital for Next Citites and other real estate sponsors.

Mitch holds an MBA from the Wharton School and a BA in Economics with Honors and Distinction from Stanford University. He is a founding member of the CRE Finance Council (formerly CMSA), and he is the incoming Chair of the Urban Land Institute’s Urban Revitalization Council.


Meridith Hill

Ms. Hill has over 18-years of real estate experience as both a lender and owner.  Prior to starting Next Cities, Meridith spent 11 years as an Executive Director at Morgan Stanley where she originated over $3 billion of commercial loans, purchased over $1 billion in loan pools and developed relationships with a wide variety of capital sources.  Prior to Morgan Stanley, Ms. Hill was a vice president at ING Barings where she pursued distressed debt acquisitions, loan securitization and opportunistic real estate acquisitions totaling over $1 billion. Prior to ING Barings, Ms. Hill was a portfolio manager at Prudential Realty Group where she managed a portfolio of $6 billion loans and developed expertise in restructuring distressed loans. Ms. Hill started her career at Dreyfus Realty Advisors where she was responsible for managing a national portfolio of 27 retail centers.  

Meridith holds an MBA from Fordham University and a BA in Economics from St. Lawrence University.