DAVID DEUTCH is a partner at Pinnacle Housing Group, a Miami-based affordable housing developer.
The firm is one of the industry's largest owners, with more than 4,000 affordable units.
Deutch, who began his career in corporate banking, tells us about his latest development and why Pinnacle makes it a point to include large art displays at its properties.
Q. How did you get started in the affordable housing business?
A. I co-founded Pinnacle in 1997. I was looking for an entrepreneurial opportunity after spending 12 years in the corporate world. My partners had some previous experience with affordable housing, and after much discussion we felt strongly we could launch a company that would bring innovative ideas to this industry.
Q. Tell us a little about a development that you are working on now.
A. We recently purchased a defaulted first mortgage loan on a rental property operating under a condemnation order that has 270 families living in a substandard environment in Miami-Dade County. We intend to relocate all the existing residents per federal URA guidelines, complete the foreclosure, demolish all the existing buildings, and redevelop a 300-unit, garden-style affordable housing community. We're employing many layers of financing, including multifamily mortgage revenue bonds, 4 percent tax credits, NSP [Neighborhood Stabilization Program], and HOME dollars.
Q. How are your affordable housing projects changing?
A. Pinnacle communities continue to evolve both functionally and aesthetically. We're completing our first Silver LEEDcertifi ed high-rise community in Miami. Our developments push the envelope in terms of ideas and building materials that further enhance our product life cycle, which in turn provides an enhanced lifestyle for our residents.
Q. Your firm makes a big effort to include public art in its affordable housing developments. Why is art a focus?
A. Pinnacle has been commissioning local artists and installing various forms of art within our communities since 2001. We feel art enhances the living experience of our residents, is an asset to the surrounding neighborhood, and, frankly, makes all of us at Pinnacle feel good about giving back to our community. From large outdoor murals, high-tech digital lighting displays, mosaics, or modern sculptures, the art displayed within our developments has become a Pinnacle signature.
Q. What's a recent move that Pinnacle has made that other developers can learn from?
A. A fundamental guiding principle that is serving us extremely well today is our focus on delivering affordable housing where it is most needed instead of where it is easiest to purchase land or cheapest to build.
Q. What do you do when you're not working?
A. I'm a big Bruce Springsteen fan, traveling the country when he's touring, and I'm also the commissioner of a wonderful recreational basketball program that serves 1,000 children ages 9 to 18 each year in southern Miami-Dade County.
Q. Where would we find you on a day off?
A. Doing something fun with my two teenage children or playing tennis.
Q. What's the best advice you've received?
A. Enjoy life to its fullest each and every day.
Q. What's the best advice you can give others?
A. Work hard and make thoughtful decisions.
Q. Favorite fictional hero and why?
A. Iron Man—a super hero with character flaws and the ability to fly.