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Southern Management CEO David Hillman Dies At 75

Southern Management CEO David Hillman at Bisnow's 2016 Future of Prince George's County event

Southern Management Corp. founder and CEO David Hillman has died at 75. 

The D.C. native, who led the Vienna-based development and property management company for more than 35 years, died Dec. 27 at his home in McLean after a battle with cancer, the Baltimore Sun reports

A 1959 graduate of Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, Hillman graduated from Strayer University in Herndon before becoming a public accountant. He entered the real estate industry in 1965 when he founded Central Management. He then founded Southern Management Corp. in 1981. 

Hillman built Southern Management into one of the nation's largest owner-operated property management companies. It manages 78 communities totaling 25,000 apartments, 1.5M SF of commercial space and three hotels. The company's D.C.-area portfolio consists of 28 properties in Prince George's County, 11 in Montgomery County and 11 in Northern Virginia. 

In September, Southern Management completed The Hotel at UMD, a $180M project in the heart of College Park that officials see as an important catalyst for the city's development. The company is also building a 156-room Cambria Hotel & Suites a half-mile down Route 1, expected to deliver this spring.

“He deserves an enormous amount of credit for having confidence in College Park,” said University of Maryland Chief Economic Development Strategy Officer Ken Ulman, who also worked with Hillman during his time as Howard County Executive. “A lot of people knew that we have needed a project like this, he was willing to put his money where his mouth is and actually build it … People will look back decades from now and say ‘why didn’t we see what he saw?’”  

A memorial service is scheduled for Hillman at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Hotel at UMD, 7777 Baltimore Ave. in College Park.