Press Release: Blue Wahoos owners Quint and Rishy Studer today announced the development team for their estimated $12 million office building to be built at the Maritime Park. The team is made up of real estate and community development experts from Pensacola and beyond, all boasting national community development experience.
The design and construction will be led by the Atlanta-based Dawson Company, which will serve as program manager. The Dawson Company is one of the nation’s leading real estate development firms, specializing in urban infill projects and boasting an international development portfolio of over $1 billion. Currently, the Dawson Company is managing major urban infill projects in Baltimore, Atlanta, and in Cincinnati, where the company is co-developing “The Banks,” a 17.9 acre mixed-use development along the Ohio River, adjacent to the Reds’ home stadium.
Dawson Company President and CEO, Harold Dawson, Jr., son of the firm’s founder, said he was excited to be a part of the Maritime Place office project and the Studers’ broader community development philosophy.
“It only took me a few conversations with Quint and Rishy to understand that we shared the same philosophy about community development that my father had when he started the Dawson Company. Namely, that real estate development isn’t just about bricks and mortar, but rather a process and a structure that reflects the values of the community, and that improves the quality of life for everyone,” said Dawson. “That is the cornerstone philosophy of the Dawson Company for every project we do, and finding that Quint and Rishy share that same vision in their efforts here in Pensacola made it a natural fit. We’re excited about being here and being a part of this great community,” Dawson continued.
Quint Studer said Dawson’s urban infill experience and philosophy, in addition to the company’s significant portfolio, was a big part of bringing in the company.
“One of the things Rishy and I have tried to do with all of our real estate projects is first, make the community better because of it. And second, we want to create opportunities for jobs as a result of our efforts, not just nice buildings,” said Studer. “I think we’ve done that at 5 Sisters, the Blue Wahoos, the Bodacious Olive and the Business Challenge, and this next project – a $12 million dollar building – is a great opportunity to continue that philosophy. The Dawson Company shares this same vision, and we are excited to bring in their expertise to help us manage the project, create jobs, and give the community a world-class development that is sustainable, inclusive, and cost-effective.”
Leading the day-to-day operations of the development process will be Chuck Tessier of Tessier and Associates, in the role of project manager. Tessier is an urban planner who has worked with Studer for the last three years on several projects in Pensacola, splitting his time between here and his home in Asheville, North Carolina. Tessier was at the center of Asheville’s downtown resurgence that began in the 1980’s and continued for over twenty years, and has brought that experience to bear with the Studers on a variety of community-building projects here in Pensacola. Most recently, Tessier worked with Mayor Ashton Hayward’s Urban Redevelopment Advisory Committee to facilitate that committee’s comprehensive report on future development in downtown Pensacola. Tessier will coordinate the administrative, finance, legal, accounting and lease aspects of the development, will consult on design and construction, and will work to ensure that the building project meets market demand for office space at Maritime Park.
Andrew Rothfeder is a partner in Studer Community Development Group (SCDG), and manages the Studers’ real estate investments. Rothfeder led the Studers’ Pensacola Business Challenge which was a competition for entrepreneurs to win a sizable business startup package valued at over $50,000, and has resulted in the opening of Carmen’s Lunch Bar, as well as several new small business startups in the area. In addition, Rothfeder has partnered with the Studers to redevelop the former Penko building on the northeast corner of Palafox and Main. Prior to joining the Studers, Rothfeder helped manage major real estate projects here in Pensacola and in Atlanta, which is where he became acquainted with the Dawson Company. Rothfeder will will provide project oversight on behalf of SCDG as the developer.
Studer noted that the team was carefully chosen based on competence, experience, and shared vision. “Rishy and I are so fortunate to have Andrew, Chuck, and now the Dawson Company to work with us on building a better Pensacola,” said Studer. “Their collective background, experience, and expertise is a tremendous asset for our City, and we think this model can set the standard for future developments in Pensacola. Hopefully other investors will step forward to take advantage of the opportunities to build successful, quality-of-life projects that create jobs, help local businesses succeed, and most of all, make Pensacola a better place,” said Studer.
Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward also greeted the news with enthusiasm. “I’m looking forward to breaking ground on the first private development at the Community Maritime Park, and this news puts us one step closer,” said Mayor Ashton Hayward. “I want to thank Quint and Rishy Studer for their continued investment in Pensacola and our downtown core.”
Harold A. Dawson, Jr. serves as President and CEO of The Dawson Company. As its visionary and chief transaction strategist, Mr. Dawson’s astute knowledge of finance and global market trends were instrumental in the Dawson Company becoming one of the first companies in the U.S. to establish mixed-use, transit-oriented projects as the core focus of its developments. Approaching deals from this perspective led to a paradigm shift in industry standards, which have enabled the company to exceed profit expectations every year since Mr. Dawson assumed the helm in 2004.
Mr. Dawson’s distinguished career in development began in 1988 when he served as Director of Capital Markets for Trammell Crow Ventures. He is an esteemed graduate of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, while receiving his Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School. He proudly joined the family-owned business that bears his name in 1992.
Chuck Tessier is a development consultant and was very involved in the redevelopment of downtown Asheville. He holds an undergraduate degree in Engineering and a Masters of Urban Design from NC State University. He is President of Tessier Associates, Inc. and has spent his career working with both public and private sectors in development and urban place making.
Chuck has planned, developed and brokered numerous new and redevelopment projects across the Southeast and has served as a planning and development consultant in the Southeast for cities in North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee. For the past three years, Chuck has worked part time in Pensacola on the Maritime Park and downtown redevelopment.
Andrew Rothfeder is a Partner with Studer Community Development Group. He has 25 years of commercial and residential real estate experience as an owner, asset manager, developer, broker and end-user, primarily in shopping centers, mixed-use, and residential condominiums, including managing a Real Estate Investment Trust with over $1 billion in assets. Andrew spent six years as a partner with Island Resorts Development, the firm that developed Portofino, Beach Club, and Verandas resorts on Pensacola Beach. He has a BBA from Emory University and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business.
Andrew is married with three children, and has lived in Gulf Breeze, FL for the last 7 years, having lived the previous 16 years in Atlanta. He is actively involved in his community, holding leadership positions at Temple Beth-El, Good Works Partnerships, Pensacola Business Challenge, and Tri Gulf Coast. Andrew is an accomplished Ironman triathlete, having completed over 100 races, including the Hawaii Ironman.