Metropolitan Development Group (MDG) was created in 2003 with its main focus being the development of multifamily market apartments. Since that time, MDG has branched out into single-family residential development, commercial & industrial tract development; and today has easily grown into one of the largest privately held land development companies in Pennsylvania, USA.
Quite recently the MDG group has built an incredible cross-functional team of industry professionals with strengths in all facets of land development. MDG’s relationships and experience with multiple site contractors, engineering firms, environmental specialists, law firms, builders, realtors, and financial institutions allow it to pull together the right team specific to each project. Metropolitan Development Group has also earned the well-deserved reputation as “closers” within the property development industry.
The MDG group is headed by Marty Stallone; Executive Vice President of Development and under his leadership MDG has experienced steady exponential growth since 2011. Today MDG currently has well over 40 development projects (single family, multifamily and industrial) at various stages of the development process.
Here we talk with Marty Stallone, Before joining MDG in 2015, Marty. Stallone spent 15 years as Managing Partner of Investment Management Advisory Group. Prior to this, Marty was the founding partner and President of Hamilton Consulting, Inc., a Pennsylvania based, full service financial advisory firm. He also served as Vice President of the Corporate and Municipal Finance Department of Meridian Capital Markets and an associate at Butcher & Singer, Inc
How did you get started in this business? What inspired you to start this business?
My interest in both finance and land development was piqued during my time as an undergraduate at Cornell and further reinforced by the professional experiences that followed. This interest — combined with what I recognised as an uncommon opportunity within the industry — led to a desire to become a part of a great company capable of the level of land development versatility demonstrated by MDG.
Where did the idea for Metropolitan Development Group come from?
MDG arose out of the recognition of a need for a versatile land development company capable of completing projects that include residential, industrial, and commercial properties.
Prior to you joining MDG in 2015, you had been quite successful at a number of jobs. How have those jobs prepared you for what you do now?
It was incredibly valuable to have such a clear focus at such an early stage, and I gained even more insight from my experience working with entities that included governments, non-profits, and corporate businesses.
What influences your work? What makes you want to wake up every morning?
What keeps me awake is the desire to concur the goals I set out to achieve. I inculcated this belief back in high school when I promised to achieve the highest grades every semester. However, cultivating this level of discipline is never easy because it comes with so much pressure. If you want to excel in the real estate sector, you need to be creative, risk tolerant and have a knack for problem-solving.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
Due to our lengthy track record of success, we have access to a wide range of potential land development projects. While we are able to handle a substantial volume of projects at any one time, we sometimes have to winnow the list of projects we accept in order to maintain our lofty standards in terms of the overall quality of our land development projects.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I volunteered to work at the annual “Cortaca Jug” football game between Ithaca University and Cortland State University while I was an undergrad at nearby Cornell. I quickly gained respect for those who work events in which attendees allow their rooting interests to undermine a sense of basic decorum.
What kind of business ideas excite you most?
I’m driven by research and analysis, so I enjoy ideas that are backed up by an obvious commitment to detailed analysis and based on relevant research.
Where do you see “Metropolitan Development Group” in the next 5 years?
The idea to establish MDG arose from the need to create a versatile land development company that can undertake a host of projects; be they commercial, residential or industrial and complete them in time to the required level of satisfaction. Our desire is to develop as many affordable housing units as possible in the coming years.
What business books have inspired you?
From a purely analytical standpoint, I enjoyed the work of Thomas Piketty in “Capital in the 21st Century,” as well as Charles MacKay’s “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.” I strongly recommend every entrepreneur to read Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the 21st Century.” You do not necessarily have to agree with his conclusions to learn a great deal from his approach to research and analysis.
What classes or courses played a role in your decision to pursue your current endeavour?
Two courses from my time as an undergraduate at Cornell University stand out in particular, including a seminar course in microeconomics as well as a course focused on statistics and econometrics.
What can you tell people who are pursuing their dreams?
Every business owner desires to grow their business and make a profit. I would encourage anyone taking their chances to have clearly spelled out goals and timelines and follow their dream. I strongly believe people who follow their dreams are doers, and doers have the power to influence and transform their environment and ultimately entire communities.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
There are a number of consulting firms outside of my industry that are conceptually sound and possess exceptional expertise but lack a general understanding of how to generate long-term success. A consulting business that focused on addressing these issues for other firms could actually be quite successful on a number of levels.
The last word or final thoughts?
Since real estate represents the largest percentage of an individual’s or household wealth. Developers and property owners need to educate themselves on factors and trends that influence the market such as interest rate, economy, demographics and state and national government policies and incentives.
To Connect with Marty Stallone
Marty Stallone on Twitter: @martystallone
Marty Stallone on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marty-stallone-6169a93