David Simonini is an important member of the real estate community in the American South. His custom homes have brought the best of European design to homes in the Carolinas. His partnership with Miami-based architect and planner Andrés Duany brought New Urbanism to Charlotte.
Currently, Simonini has two major projects in the works. He is building an affordable housing complex in Lancaster, South Carolina, taking advantage of the recently enacted Trump Opportunity Zones. These zones provide significant tax advantages to the developer while increasing affordable rental apartments in an underserved area. His other current project, Rea Court, features 10 homes with 6 different floor plans. These units range from 1,955 to 2,789 square feet, and they are priced from the mid-$500s. These luxury homes provide an individualized experience for the discerning buyer.
David Simonini is a real estate expert focused on creating the best possible housing stock for the Carolinas. His incorporation of European and new urban designs has set him apart from the crowd. Simonini has a unique perspective on the business of home building and architecture.
Would you please tell us what do you do for a living?
I am a home builder and real estate developer.
How long have you been in this business?
I have been in this business for many years. I have been part of the Charlotte real estate scene since the late 1980s. My first $1 million spec home was built in the early 1990s.
Are there any industry-specific challenges you would like to point out?
Right now, there are tight housing markets in many urban areas. This presents a huge opportunity for the home builder. Prices are on the rise in many areas including Charlotte. This enables the home builder to take advantage of the tighter market. I will say that it’s challenging to attract buyers in this market.
Are there particular challenges you’ve had to address personally?
I believe that the quality of my housing units speaks for itself. I have had to address the challenge of finding good vacant land to build on. Most suburban areas tend to grow into surrounding countryside. I would prefer to build within the existing footprint, but it is difficult to manage.
What is the outlook of your industry?
The custom home industry is doing very well. Luxury housing starts are only going up, and we have a relatively easy time finding buyers. It is more difficult in areas where the economy is struggling, but in Charlotte, the possible pool of home buyers is doing well.
How does technology impact your company?
Technology has an impact on our company, but a lot of our work is concentrated on the old-school techniques of quality building. There are no technological shortcuts to building a solid home. I do use computerized software to help me design homes. That makes it easy to share my ideas with my team.
Have you ever been to Miami?
I love Miami and have been there many times.
What part of Miami?
I’ve been all over Miami. On my most recent visit, I spent a lot of time in South Beach. I was visiting friends, and I took some business meetings while I was there.
Do you visit any particular places of interest, including restaurants?
Whenever I’m in Miami, I take advantage of the awesome restaurant scene. I spend a lot of time researching the newest and best restaurants that have opened since my last visit. I always have a long list of restaurants I’d like to try.
I had the best Japanese meal of my life at Makoto in Bal Harbour. It was an exciting meal. I also enjoyed the Latin fusion meal I had at Ortanique on the Mile in Coral Gables. It’s less formal and more comfortable than many restaurants I’ve tried in Miami, and it truly does justice to fresh ingredients.
Would you come back?
I will definitely be back soon.
Was it a business or pleasure trip?
It was a business trip, but I made time to enjoy myself while I was there.
Where will you or the business be in 5 years?
I hope that we will be able to continue building wonderful homes for people in the South. I would like to expand to other areas of the country as well.