Alumni Profile: David Weinstein ’15, Asset Development, WB Property Group
By: Tayla Lee Van Rooyen ’20
David Weinstein arrived to Cornell University in 2011 with plans to complete a Natural Resource Major as he loved all things environmental science. However, David worked in the real estate industry over his summer breaks and caught the “real estate” bug. After hearing about the real estate program from friends, David was hooked. Although David internally transferred to the Hotel School, he states that he appreciates that he “never had to make a mutually exclusive decision as there are so many intersections between the environment and real estate.”
When arriving at the hotel school, David quickly noticed that “the culture in the hotel school is like nowhere else.” He describes one of his favorite parts about being a hotelie is “how inclusive everyone is but at the same time there’s this strong sense of pride among the community of hotelies.”
Another thing that David loved about the Hotel school is the wide breadth of experience you can get through the core courses offered to all students. Whether you are a foodie or finance focused, everyone takes an array of courses that develop so much more than just an understanding of the class. David states that each class he took would give him “an introduction to a lot of material which encouraged further interests and research.” Despite working in real estate today, David describes his favorite classes as Restaurant Management with Giuseppe Pezzotti (also known as Establishment), Development and Planning with Professor Stephani Robson, Persuasive Communication (also known as Man Comm 2) with Professor Newman and Real Estate with Professor Daniel Quan. The site development knowledge learned in Professor Robson’s class, Real Estate Club activities, and the IHIF case competition case introduced to him by Professor Quan gave him a “great introduction to the industry and the material [he] learned is still very applicable to what [he] works on today.” Additionally, attending the Hotel School continues to shape the way that David looks at projects. He states that because of the customer oriented aspect of the hotel school, he’s “viewed real estate as a consumer product category rather than as an asset class.”
Upon graduation, David was one of the first employees working for Ollie, a brand operator and developer of micro apartments. From this position David shares that a key thing he learned was that “space doesn’t have to be a prerequisite for quality.” Today, David works at WB Property Group with his brother and father. They work on a variety of development projects in Texas, Tennessee and New York ranging from multi-family rental apartments, to hotels, to mixed use projects. David’s excited to be developing a project in Ithaca, where they have plans to build 102 rental apartments and 28 luxury for-sale homes.
Most importantly, David emphasizes for students to follow what excites them and to make the most of their time at the Hotel School. Although moving from natural resources to the Hotel School was a difficult choice for David, he states that you have to find what feels right and follow through with it.