- November 2, 2018
Chas Bruck says his family raised him to be an entrepreneur. His grandparents were entrepreneurs, and so is his dad. When he was 12, his grandmother decided she was sick of giving toys as birthday presents. So she gave them the option to buy stock instead.
When he graduated college, he worked for a year as an intern for a commercial development firm that worked on big-box retail deals out of Tucson, Ariz. “It was not the route I wanted to go,” Bruck says. He wanted to get back to Tampa and work for himself. It’s just part of his personality, he admits: “If I worked for someone they’d probably fire me in the first week.”
In 2006, Bruck teamed up with Adam Harden, former director of operations for Lennar Corp., to start their own development company, SoHo Capital. Today, Bruck is considered one of Tampa’s up-and-coming developers, with multiple projects including townhomes, apartments, industrial parks and business parks around the Tampa area.
Bruck and Harden didn’t have any debt when the downturn hit, and were able to capitalize on the opportunities. “The hardest thing now is to find deals. We were spoiled in the downturn because we picked up projects at low prices,” Bruck says.
Now the firm is focused on the urban core and has bought substantial pieces of property to build out downtown Tampa. Bruck’s biggest project is Riverside Heights, which SoHo acquired in late 2010. The Heights is a mixed-use development spread over 45 acres just north of downtown Tampa, on the Hillsborough River. “This is our passion project,” Bruck says.
Bruck describes himself as “brutally honest,” saying that makes him stand out in the development industry. He and Harden “put all cards on the table, that’s what works best for us,” Bruck says. It’s a refreshing approach to negotiating, Bruck adds. “I don’t like to play games, especially when negotiating.”
— Traci McMillan Beach
City of residence: Tampa
Twitter handle: Don't use twitter
Years on the Gulf Coast: 31
Marital status/children: Married with one on the way!
Alma mater: University of Arizona
Best place to network: I am constantly networking, you never know who you will meet and when.
Coolest business experience: The ones that teach me something I didn't know before.
The most important business lesson I’ve learned: Not to be greedy
One website that makes your job easier: Mugshots.com
One community group you’re most involved with: Metropolitan Ministries
Favorite off-hours activity: Shooting range
Two people, dead or alive, you’d like to have dinner with: Both of my grandfathers who passed away before I was born
Most adventurous thing you’ve ever done: Getting married
What’s at the top of your bucket list: Traveling the world with my family
What new skill would you like to learn: Kite Surfing
Who would play you in a movie about your life: Daniel Day Lewis