When I was young, my father emphasized the virtues of hard work, responsible risk, and saving for the future. During my college years, my grocer grandfather drilled me on the classic principles of business management. Along the way, I've worked with other tough mentors who gave me a valuable street-wise education.
In college, I earned a Bachelors and Master’s Degree in Architecture. I specialized in Historic Preservation. My electives were filled with Art History classes. Luckily, I did manage to slip in one summer session of advanced golf, the last required class to graduate.
While finishing my thesis, I launched Raettig Real Estate. A few months later, I became a licensed Commercial Broker. Over the years, I have sat on local boards and given talks about redeveloping obsolete property. I have been involved in the success and failure of ventures beyond real estate, including restaurants. One thing is certain; I am a much better restaurant patron than operator.
My personal pursuit of happiness boils down to this: discovering neglected properties that can be cleaned up, and figuring out the best way other people can use those buildings to fulfill their dreams. Then making it all happen.
In addition to fostering entrepreneurial dreams, I think antique buildings help liberty loving people engage our common American heritage. The consistent, comfortable “old” buildings keep us grounded in our common democratic ideals. I love to see the names of the proud, self-made men on the cornices of the buildings they built. These were individuals who achieved. Through their own initiative, they built the cities and great nation we sometimes fail to appreciate today.
When I see an old, run-down property, I do not see a worthless tear-down. I see a neglected symbol of past American prosperity, and tomorrow's new opportunity. That’s why each successful redevelopment is a chance to show not only what has been accomplished in our culture, but also what remains possible in an optimistic, free America. After all, when navigating the ebb and flow of progress, looking back is sometimes required to move forward.
My tenants, financial partners, and development team deserve equal credit for my success. Were it not for their trust, skills, individual acts of entrepreneurial zeal, and patience... you would not be reading this. Together our old fashioned hard work has led to newly energized neighborhoods, new growing businesses, and many new jobs. And let's not forget, along with all that new economic activity came new revenue sources (taxes) for the cities where my projects developed.
Experiencing the results first hand says more about our ability than words on a website. If you would like to discuss your antique building or revitalization project, email me. I always enjoy meeting with property owners and community leaders who desire success.