992. A Day in the Life: What's It Really Like to Be a Community Builder?
“There was actually a specific month and year that was the turning point for my entire career. It was October of 1985. Quite coincidentally my father had just passed away at the same time that a friend of mine’s father had also passed. I had just gotten my master’s degree in international business and had been offered jobs in England and Southeast Asia. I knew I didn’t want to stay in Maryland, and I had travelled around the world as a young man, so I was inclined toward these opportunities. But my dad’s death threw me off track. So, when my friend, Joel Solomon, invited me to come visit in his hometown of Nashville, Tennessee, I took him up on his offer. I didn’t have a job other than my juggling gigs, which I had been into since I was a young man. Joel’s family had been in the real estate development business his entire life, so I decided to get my real estate license to help out any way I could. Joel was part of a streetscape committee that was trying to develop the rather hollowed out center of the city, which had been abandoned to urban flight. I was working in Hillsboro Village there, and when people asked me what I did, I answered: ‘I sell houses within a one-mile radius of Hillsboro Village. Houses are coming on the market, Vanderbilt University across the street wants the area developed, along with the musicians who have their studios in the area, and of course the merchants.’ With that pithy unique selling proposition, I started selling in-town properties at a rapid clip–27 houses turned into 43 turned into 62 and the neighborhood began to thrive and so did my real estate business. I never left.”
Mark Deutschmann is an entrepreneur and community builder who has worked with neighbors, city leaders and social profits for 30+ years to help shape Nashville development, revitalizing its most sought-after neighborhoods. He is founder/chair emeritus of Village Real Estate Services and president of Core Development Services, which activates Nashville’s urban center with adaptive reuse and mixed-use infill development. His Village Fund and CoreFund nonprofits have granted millions to organizations helping to enrich and strengthen Nashville. Deutschmann is the author of One-Mile Radius–Building Community from the Core. He holds degrees in zoology and Spanish and an MBA in international management.
On His Bookshelf
One-Mile Radius–Building Community from the Core, by Mark Deutschmann
Connecting With Mark Deutschmann
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