Markus Lehto


Managing Partner
Speaker in event(s): Street Retail
A Canadian of Finnish decent, Markus Lehto moved to Istanbul in 1999 and has been actively involved in the Turkish real estate sector for 12 years. With degrees in Law (BA, Laurentian University, Canada), and International Relations (MA, University of Leeds, UK), Markus previously worked in emerging market investment banking (ING Barings, NYC). After arriving to Turkey, Markus started his path in real estate as a consultant with ISGYO, and subsequently became the company’s marketing manager. In 2003, Markus was appointed as the managing director of the joint venture company established between İŞGYO and Eczacıbaşı for Kanyon, and saw the project through from conception through to its successful operation.
In 2007, Markus Lehto became the founding partner of Urbanista, a İstanbul-London based company focused on development management and consultancy, currently active throughout Europe and the Middle East. Markus is also Managing Partner of AVCIARCHITECTS and the Chairman of the management/investment company Kube A.Ş. The three companies work to provide a fully integrated approach to property, with the shared passion of realizing innovative projects that sincerely improve lives and shift the market forward.


Urbanista is a real estate development and consultancy company that produces landmark project that shift markets forward. We are currently focused on mixed-use urban re-development, bespoke residentioal an differentiated retail.

We tackle projects of varying size, structure, and complexit. We love a good challenge and thrive on projects that demand our unique perspective. We apply the same passion to everything we do and do not distinguish between our 'work' and 'life'. In our world, property is both our work and life.

Realize it or not, we are all so intimately linked to where we live, work, shop, roam, play, and relax that it is easy to lose our objectivity on property, quite like fish that do not see or think about the water that surrounds them. Our mission is to re-objectify property, to raise our consciousness of it, by developing projects that improve the quality and character of our lives.

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