David Strosberg’s career started in the construction industry. When he was 19, Strosberg started a sprinkler irrigation contracting business. During that period, he attended college and also focused on becoming a licensed architect. After an architectural apprenticeship, Strosberg returned to the construction business, this time working for a general contractor and construction manager.
“I love creating buildings whether as an architect, contractor, or developer,” said Strosberg, President & Managing Principal of Morningside Group. “The urban landscape is just as beautiful to me as Yellowstone Park. I consider Chicago the architecture capital of the world.”
“Creating buildings is the most rewarding part of my job,” he continued. “Seeing the meticulous details come together is like an enjoyable puzzle for me. It’s very gratifying to know that at the end of the project, we’ve created something that contributes to the community.”
Strosberg’s father, whose career consisted of working for the automobile manufacturers in Detroit, encouraged him to pursue his interest in buildings—his father is also his biggest mentor.
“His encouragement was important—especially since my mother desperately wanted me to become an ophthalmologist,” Strosberg said. “My father was the largest investor in my first, very modest real estate deal—development and construction of a single-family spec home when I was 22.”
One of Strosberg’s most memorable deals is redeveloping an old auto parts factory building into multi-family housing and commercial space.
“The property had significant environmental contamination, portions of the existing building were structurally unsound, the entire site was in a flood plain and floodway, the building was historically designated, and the zoning did not match our intended use. Today the building contains highly sought-after housing in downtown Ann Arbor, Michigan and the commercial space is also highly productive.”
Strosberg founded Morningside Group in 1993 as a real estate firm focused on mixed-use and multi-family buildings located on urban infill sites. According to the company’s site, Morningside Group does more than just develop properties – it builds communities in sought-after cities throughout the Midwest.
“Morningside is intimately involved with and controls all aspects of the development process,” said Strosberg. “As architects and engineers, we prepare conceptual plans for our projects. As construction managers, we oversee the construction from the ground up. As operators and marketers, we manage and lease our projects. We build a quality product that we are willing to stand behind for years and years to come. Morningside is proud that it has never lost a project to foreclosure nor given a building back to a lender.”
Morningside is almost leased-up on their newest luxury residential building, Wheaton 121 in downtown Wheaton.
“It’s a 306-unit luxury rental building, steps from the Metra and downtown restaurants, bars, shops and entertainment of Wheaton, and boasts very high-end finishes and amenities and an incredibly active resident community. Up next is a very exciting mixed-use public/private partnership in Northbrook called NorthShore 770.”
Strosberg continued, “It will feature over 100,000 square feet of retail space including a brand new Mariano’s, as well as a 347-unit ultimate-luxury doorman rental building with all the finishes and amenities you’d expect. We’re very excited to bring this new style of living to Northbrook and the response has already been very enthusiastic.”
According to Strosberg, a trend he’s currently seeing in CRE is the continued development of multifamily properties. “This trend could be concerning because without a lot of job growth in 2016 and 2017, this supply may not be supported by sufficient demand.”
When he isn’t working, aside from spending time with his family, Strosberg is an aviation enthusiast. “I’m a pilot and recently, as an add-on to my pilot certification, I’m working on my glider certification.”
One thing he’d like to do in his lifetime? “Throw out the first pitch at a White Sox World Series game.”
Strosberg’s favorite movie and musician? “Not surprisingly (given my aviation enthusiasm), my favorite movie is Airplane! My favorite (and in my opinion the world’s most important) musician is Beethoven.”
If you’re staying in Chicago for the upcoming holidays, you may be slightly jealous of Strosberg’s plans–I know I am! “My wife, Jory, and our three children, ages 5, 8, and 10, will be traveling to Mexico to enjoy the warm weather and the beach.”