John Crosland Jr. became a Charlotte icon because the company he built and the developments he created helped shape the city’s future. But his greatest legacy to the city’s development community might be the number of successful companies that have spun off from Crosland LLC.
Crosland, who died this weekend after a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease, was credited with fostering an entrepreneurial spirit in those he worked with. When the company decided to exit the development business amidst economic turmoil in 2011, a number of new enterprises were spawned.
Now, some of Charlotte’s highest profile development firms are headed by Crosland LLC alumni. Here’s a quick look at the major firms that came out of Crosland:
▪ Northwood Ravin: David Ravin heads this Charlotte-based company that’s developing major apartment projects such as Morningside Village in Plaza Midwood. Northwood Ravin also bought and revived the Vue apartment tower uptown after it failed as a condo project.
Ravin was formerly president of Crosland LLC’s residential development division. In 2011, the company sold Ravin its market rate apartment development and construction units.
▪ Crosland Southeast: Five Crosland LLC partners acquired the company’s retail division in 2011 and started Crosland Southeast, an unaffiliated company. The company’s current projects include a number of shopping centers and the prominent Waverly mixed-use development on Providence Road, just south of I-485.
Partners include Peter B. Pappas, former president of Crosland LLC retail, Tim Sittema, president of Crosland LLC investment services and Crosland LLC vice presidents of retail Mike Wiggins, Austin Williams and James Downs.
▪ Laurel Street Residential: This company was a product of Crosland LLC’s affordable housing projects, which it purchased in 2011. Principal and CEO Dionne Nelson was the former senior vice president of Crosland LLC’s affordable housing development group, and other key team members also worked at Crosland LLC.
▪ Yellow Duck Marketing: Although it’s not a development company, Yellow Duck Marketing is still part of the development web in Charlotte, handling marketing and communications for many major developers. Founder Julianne McCollum started the company in 2011, after leading marketing, communications and technology at Crosland LLC for more than a decade.