Three Start Ups Weather the Recession and Grow – Ready to Launch

On the path to prosperity, these three D.C. apartment executives prove that the entrepreneurial spirit behind a spin-off venture can fuel success.

During the first week of January 2010, Jim Butz, CEO of McLean, Va. – based Jefferson Apartment Group (JAG), thought he’d just secured the landmark deal his upstart firm sorely needed. The Dumont was a failed, 559-unit luxury condo project near the hot Logan Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C. However, when Butz woke up the day the deal was to be finalized, he found out that his all-cash bid of $165 million wasn’t enough. Chicago-based REIT Equity Residential had swooped in with $167 million at the last minute and secured the property.

Butz was obviously disappointed with the outcome. But it reinforced a valuable lesson for the fledging multifamily company – it’s hard to go head-to-head with institutional money and win.

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