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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Big Visions –Huge Accomplishments

When you meet Steven Michael you might be wowed by his financial brilliance and real estate savvy. The Chicago native seems remarkably unaffected by his significant achievements in both finance and real estate.

He began his career in finance by trading on the floor of the CBOT and CME in Chicago, specializing in interest rate yield curve trading in 1985. He also developed early computerized risk Management models, financial options and arbitrage traders.

By the age of 26 Michael had bought a seat on the exchange and was the youngest member of the board at the Chicago Board of Trade. “During that time, I learned about discipline, management and when to take a loss.”

He also started a yield curve trading company that grew to 30 traders. At the same time, he was buying and developing real estate with his father and brothers Mark and Jay.
In the early 1990’s, Michael sold his company and went to work for a London Investment Bank running their trading department. While there, Michael helped to make it the most profitable FX trading desk in the UK.

He started his own Hedge Fund (called The Macro Fund) with the head macro analyst at Soros Quantum Fund. He eventually sold the company and pursued his interest in utilizing quantitative models.

There he implemented a proprietary quantitative mathematical model used for capital appreciation with a disciplined risk management overlay model.

Michael’s formative years helped prepare him for this leap. “My father, who was my mentor, was always starting new businesses. When he was in real estate, I watched him deal with tenants and negotiate leases. He taught me to rely on myself and always to be honest yet firm.”

In 2000, Michael purchased a 40-unit townhouse development in east Delray Beach. After that he built 14 additional units in Delray Beach. “I fell in love with Delray and made it my home, leaving Chicago behind.”

Michael also moved his fund business to Delray, taking over Schoenfeld Securities 20,000 square- foot office in Boca Raton. “I grew the trading firm to 100 traders while also focusing on South Florida real estate.”

He also bought the Gulfstream Hotel in Lake Worth, Linton Tow-ers, and The Sundy House (and surrounding property). “I spent four years designing a vision for the Midtown Delray Sundy Village project. My vision was that downtown Delray would extend West

of Swinton Avenue and become a major Retail and Office pedestrian shopping district. This momentum will come from the existing successful restaurant and nightlife that already exists East of Swinton Avenue to Federal Highway.”

He also currently has two other projects on Atlantic Ave (between Swinton and Congress) and more in the planning phase. One is the old Doc’s restaurant site. Michael will be rehabilitating Doc’s, bringing it back to its original glory and stature. Michael is also building a three-story retail and office building adjacent to Doc’s.

“I have all of the retail sites rented and have plans to break ground very soon. I also have another three-story retail and office project on West Atlantic Avenue. I believe in the future of the West Atlantic Ave District and want to be part of its success.”

The West Atlantic corridor is on the verge of a retail and office renaissance that will further enhance Delray Beach, said Michael. “This will include the northwest and southwest communities. I care deeply for the neighborhoods west of Swinton that made Delray what it is today. I remodel homes (at my cost) as a way to give back to the underserved families there.”

Michael also owns property in Chicago, Cleveland, St Louis and Florida. Of the many properties he owns in Delray Beach, one has a special place in his heart – the adaptive reuse of a 60,000-foot warehouse development once filled with automotive garages. Michael successfully converted this quaint area to include retail, offices, artist spaces and restaurants. “It went from automotive industrial spaces on Congress and Atlantic Avenue to a hip retail and artistic enclave.”

Called “The Andre Design District,” it is an eclectic Arts, Retail, and Office community offering the downtown district of Delray an affordable, alternative to the high-priced retail property on Atlantic Ave.

The Andrea Design District brings back the essence of what made Delray Beach what it is today. “I brought back Art (private and public), local retail and Delray businesses after they were priced out of Downtown. We lost local retail shops and offices (and our wonderful art community) in downtown Delray.”

This project has been wildly successful and is fully occupied with first-time entrepreneurs who have found a hot spot in the Delray terrain.

“It’s full of young business owners, mostly minority-owned, women-owned, and veteran-owned. It’s also a wonderful incubator for

businesses that can’t find spaces in these sizes and ease of entry. I do not do traditional credit verifying; instead, I meet these entrepreneurs and determine if they have the desire and commitment to start (and grow) a business.”

Michael uses his business acumen and judgement to give new entrepreneurs a chance to thrive. His instincts have been right on. The businesses have been highly successful with little turnaround and a waiting list of over 30 potential tenants.

Michael’s vision for Congress Avenue is that it will tie Atlantic Avenue’s downtown district to the Congress Avenue corridor. “I have a plan to grow the Design District beyond its current area and include property to the South County Complex and train station.”

He has submitted a proposal to the county to build 100 percent workforce housing and retail buildings on an empty sliver of land currently unused. This would enhance the district, he said, while providing badly needed workforce housing in this area.

“I am very committed to building workforce housing in Florida. I just finished converting a 408-room hotel in Osceola County into workforce studio suites. This is an example of the vision and commitment I have to solving an important need in Delray Beach.”

Michael spent almost $40 million dollars creating 408 luxury furnished suites that cater to the workforce market not able to afford Class A buildings.

“There is such a need for this type of housing in Florida that the first month we leased over 80 units. Our tenants include low-paying Disney employees, first responders, nurses, construction workers, etc. We are now working on two more projects in the county, that will add 1,200 more workforce housing units.”

Michael is committed to affordable workforce living, as well as retail and office space in areas hardest hit with inflationary pricing Palm Beach County and Osceola County. He also wants to expand and improve the West Atlantic Avenue Arts District in Delray Beach.

Banyan Group, LLC
1876 Dr Andres Way Unit A
Delray Beach, FL 33445
C: 561-594-0799| O: 561-250-0070
Email: SMichael@BanyanGroupRE.com
Web: www.BanyanGroupRE.com Instagram: realstevenmichael

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