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Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame: City Club Apartments' Holtzman

Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame: Jonathan Holtzman,ph01

Each week, highlights the career of one of the CRE professionals in the most recent Midwest Real Estate News Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame class. Today, we focus on the busy career of Jonathan Holtzman, co-founder and chief executive officer of City Club Apartments in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

Years in the business: More than 40

Making a major impact: Few CRE pros have made the kind of impact that City Club Apartments’ Jonathan Holtzman has made in the markets he serves. Holtzman ranks as one of the most influential developers and owner-operators of ground-up and redeveloped historic mixed-use urban apartment communities. During his career, Holtzman has led more than 25 historic conversions.

His company’s apartment portfolio today includes 10,000 apartments in 30 communities with a real estate value of more than $2 billion. City Club Apartments also has $500 million of new communities now in various stages of development and construction.

Holtzman’s plan? His goal is to start three new multifamily communities every year. His company has new communities under development in Detroit, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Chicago.

“I learned from my grandfather, father and uncle how to be persistent and overcome objections and obstacles from every direction,” Holtzman said. “I am faithfully committed to the customer, investor and community.”

Amenities matter: Holtzman has been a leader, too, in pushing the high-end amenities that have now become common in new apartment communities. From 24/7 sky clubs, sky parks and wellness rooms to movie theaters, indoor/outdoor pools and tranquil Zen gardens, City Club Apartments feature a wide range of amenities designed to attract new renters.

Giving back: Holtzman is passionate about sustainability. That is why he founded the Holtzman Wildlife Foundation, an organization with a mission to support endangered wildlife. The foundation has donated millions to organizations that support animals such as red fur pandas, lemurs, river dolphins, Grauer’s gorillas, penguins and many more.

Far-flung research: Like the most creative of CRE pros, Holtzman is always studying his market. He travels the globe every year to identify the latest international design, service and amenity trends, and then melds them into his City Club Apartments communities.

It’s always different: “I love the fact that every day for almost 40 years has been different,” Holtzman said. “Every day is a new opportunity and a new challenge. The economy changes. The customer changes. Technology changes. The capital markets change. I have never been bored one day in my life.”

Honors: Not surprisingly, Holtzman has picked up several industry awards during his career. His communities have won more than 100 awards and historic designations from organizations such as the National Apartment Association, Urban Land Institute, U.S. Green Building Council and National Multifamily Council.

Out-of-office hours: When not working, Holtzman races historic Formula 1 race cars in events and championships around the world. He also enjoys spending time with his two dogs.