Alum’s Company, Northwood Ravin, Was City’s Top Commercial Real Estate Developer in 2020

David Ravin
Wednesday, March 17, 2021
President and CEO David Ravin received his B.A. in Architecture in 1994.

The Charlotte Business Journal has reported that Northwood Ravin, LLC, was the Charlotte area’s largest commercial real estate developer in 2020, ranked by square feet developed. Northwood Ravin, led by architecture alumnus David Ravin ’94, developed 1.46 million local square feet in 2020, nearly twice that of the second ranked developer, Greystar Real Estate Partners.

After 14 years at Crosland Real Estate Investment Company, where he was president of Crosland Residential, Ravin embarked on his own enterprise, forming Ravin Partners in 2011. He soon joined forces with New York-based Northwood Investors. Focusing on developing, constructing, and managing luxury for-rent and mixed-use housing, Northwood Ravin (NWR) now employs more than 380 associates and has projects in six states. Current local projects include a 15-story apartment building on West Trade Street in uptown Charlotte and a 16-story building in Ballantyne Corporate Park. Other Charlotte properties include the VUE, Uptown 550, Providence Row, and the Village at Commonwealth (pictured below).

“We are proud to be one of the largest developers in Charlotte,” Ravin said. “We pride ourselves on building communities that foster healthy lifestyles, neighborhood involvement, and appealing living environments. Village at Commonwealth, an NWR apartment community in Plaza Midwood, recently won Best Apartment Community in Charlotte.  So while we are very busy, it is more important to know that we are being successful.”

Village at Commonwealth apartments

Growing up in Durham, N.C., in a family of medical professionals, Ravin came to UNC Charlotte to study architecture in 1989. All-nighters working with his fellow architecture students are among his most vivid memories of his undergraduate education.

“We would go and try to find something to eat or drink in the middle of night,” he said. “We would wander around campus looking for a vending machine at 3 or 4 am. We had the entire campus to ourselves, and the only activity happening anywhere was within Storrs Hall. It was a unique time. Spending the entire night working with people bonds you together in a way that is difficult to explain.”

Ravin went on to earn a Master of Architecture from the University of Michigan in 1996 and a Master of Science in Real Estate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1998.

"David has always seen the impetus for development and the built environment as originating in design thinking,” said Professor of Architecture Ken Lambla, former Dean of the College of Arts + Architecture and one of Ravin’s professors. “His work carefully builds upon context, liveability, and an outlook toward the future of our cities and towns, in terms of need but also aspiration."

In December 2020, Ravin was a guest in the Entrepreneurial Decisions speaker series, Arts & Design in the Marketplace, co-presented by the College of Arts + Architecture and the Belk College of Business. Read about that presentation and Ravin’s career in Business North Carolina.