The True Story of David’s Career as a Wall-Street-Attorney-Turned-Real-Estate-Developer
Wall Street’s high life from thirty-one stories up.
After graduation from Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and performing other legal work, David ultimately became a partner at the Wall Street law firm, Davis & Cox. This firm’s clients included Howard Hughes and the English Rothchilds, whom David personally served.
David would often gaze down onto the panoramic view of New York harbor—and out toward Lady Liberty dressed in lime green in the distance—from the dizzying heights of the thirty-first floor of his downtown Manhattan skyscraper.
He wished he were free to pilot one of the numerous pleasure boats—white dots on cobalt water—instead of being stuck at his desk tied down by endless piles of paper for sixty-plus hours a week.
He wished he could somehow combine work and fun.
He would think of a prominent jewelry designer, a family friend, who, though in his eighties, was still plying his trade. When David asked the man what kept him working, the jeweler replied, “I bring pleasure to people.”
David thought, “All I bring is litigation.”
David reached a tipping point after emerging victorious in a patent lawsuit against corporate goliath Bausch and Lomb.
One night, he awoke at 3 a.m. with a creative idea on how his client could structure the income from his substantial settlement.
David spent a few hours crafting an opinion letter supporting his legal treatment of the income. He saved his client seven figures in expenses. For this work, David billed his usual time charges.
“What’s wrong with this picture?” he thought.
At that moment, an entrepreneur was born.
A resort lifestyle in the
Green Mountains of Vermont
When a real estate development opportunity arose in Sugarbush Valley, Vermont—where David owned a vacation condominium for skiing and tennis— he put away his three-piece, pin-striped suits and his Gucci loafers and seized the day.
He and his wife chucked their comfy Manhattan lifestyle for the relatively bucolic Warren, Vermont, a five-and- a-half-hour drive from New York City. Warren’s population at the time was about 3,000 people.
David formed an investment group with some fellow condominium owners to develop his starter project, South Village at Sugarbush. It consisted of seventy-two free-standing condominium vacation homes on the same number of acres with ski-on/ski-off access to the slopes.
South Village at Sugarbush was cited by its lender, The Royal Bank of Canada, as a case study model for coming in on time and on budget.
David stayed on at Sugarbush for several more years heading up the management company that cared for the property and rented it out year-round on behalf of South Village’s owners. Learn more about this development.
Rocky Mountain High: The legendary Franz Klammer Lodge, Private Residence Club, Telluride, Colorado
When the time came for David to move on to even more lofty challenges, he chose Telluride, Colorado, a small Rocky Mountain town with a population, at the time, of about 1,900. The elevation was 9,000 feet.
At Telluride, he entered into a joint venture with then-ski-company owner, Ron Allred, to develop some prime land. It offered an exceptional location right next to everything vacationers wanted—the ski lifts, the huge hotel and spa, the 18-hole golf course and the shops and restaurants.
Click here>> to find out how David negotiated this deal and others
Franz Klammer Lodge (“FKL”) was named in honor of the Austrian Olympic Gold Medalist in the downhill event in the 1976 Winter Olympics. Telluride is among his favorite ski mountains.
Franz Klammer Lodge blazes a new trail in the fractional real estate industry.
Back in the mid-nineteen-nineties, the idea of building a fractional second home with hotel-type services for the privileged few was a risky, and untested new concept. No one was sure that very rich people would want to own a property that was legally a timeshare.
FKL was so innovative for its time that the development team invented a new name for it: “Private Residence Club.” (“PRC”) FKL was the world’s first property to carry the PRC “brand.” The property set a new benchmark for quality, luxury and service in the fractional real estate industry.” Buyers loved it!
Luxury, brand-name hotels—Ritz-Carleton, Four Seasons, Hyatt and later St. Regis—were quick to notice the buying public’s enthusiastic reception to FKL. They adopted the PRC name—or some variation of it—and attached it to the new offerings that they brought to market.
Non-branded, independent developers also followed suit in the late 1990’s and early- to mid-2000’s with their versions of the PRC phrase and their own standards of luxury, quality and service.
Today, private residence club has become a generic trade category that includes properties selling for more than $1,000 per square foot.
An award winner in 1997, FKL still has the right stuff to win today.
After its debut, FKL won a record nine prestigious Ardy awards—for architecture, marketing and sales and décor, among others—from the American Resort Development Association, the timeshare industry’s trade association. It was the most honored fractional real estate development of its era.
Today, the international luxury hospitality company, Fairmont Hotels manages FKL as part of its Private Residence Club division.
In October 2012, Condé Nast Traveler released its annual Readers’ Choice Award Survey naming Fairmont Heritage Place, Franz Klammer Lodge in the prestigious list of Top 100 Hotels and Resorts in the World.
Any hotel named to the above-named list can feel justifiably proud. What is noteworthy here is:
- FKL was designed to be a residential property and
- At the time of its nomination, FKL was sixteen years old.
- Meet David M. Disick, Esq.
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- Find out how this wall street attorney turned into a real estate developer >
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