David Schwartz, 37, Principal, Slate Property Group
Company: Developer of mid-size apartment buildings and lower-priced condos in Brooklyn.
Ideal project: 100k to 200k SF, but it’s hard to find that scale in Brooklyn.
First time in BK: Born and raised in Flatbush, now known as Ditmas Park.
Before he came back: Graduated from Syracuse in ’99; worked at JPMorgan but didn’t like investment banking, co-founded VC investor Lux Capital but didn’t like tech, and spent four years at national condo developer Crescent Heights.
Return to BK: Founded Rushbrook Partners development firm in ’05, focusing on Brooklyn because Manhattan was too expensive and competitive; venture ended because capital partner left real estate during downturn.
What came next: Co-founded Silverstone Development to take over broken development projects; eventually just started developing because banks and owners didn't divest during downturn but rather held onto distressed assets.
What came next: David and Martin Nussbaum opted to return to pure development plays and formed Slate this year.
Next project: Will break ground any day on first of four buildings that'll total 110 to 120 apartments and ground-floor retail at 83 Bushwick in East Williamsburg.
Early signs he should’ve been a developer from the start: Would ask how much houses cost at age 3; remained fascinated as he got older and realized real-world reasons for price differences (like white flight that caused crappy Bensonhurst residences to cost more than grand houses in Ditmas); addicted to Sim City as a teenager.
Why he chose Syracuse: College town that was far but not too far from home; big sports fans.
What he studied: Engineering (like his dad), then switched to finance.
Favorite college hangout: Harry’s.
Best first day of a job: Flew to California for Crescent Heights; next day, he flew to Hawaii.
How Brooklyn has changed: Used to have to promise dinner at Peter Lugers to get banks and investors to leave Manhattan; now phone won’t stop ringing.
Number of consecutive days he once ate at Peter Lugers: Eight.
Favorite Brooklyn restaurants other than PL: St. Anselm (he’s a steak guy) and Roberta’s.
David’s dirty secret: Lives in Manhattan (UES).
Most recent vacation: First trip with two kids (three-year-old Rex and 18-month-old Abe) to Italian beach town Forte dei Marmi.
Sign the world will be OK someday: Rex had grandest time playing with non-English-speaking kids from Brazil, Italy, France, Spain, Russia, etc.
Trick-or-treat plans: Rex is going as Lightning McQueen and Abe as Superman.