September 28, 2022

Up & Comers

Young Guns

20-somethings who are helping to shape business in Florida.

Diane Sears | 7/1/2006

Jack White, 28
DAYTONA BEACH

Job: Developer of Wall Street Lofts, a 24-unit, three-story residential and commercial building in downtown Daytona Beach that features Chicago storefront architecture and rooftop gardens.

Education: Majored in American studies, minored in finance at Stetson University.
Grew up in: Daytona Beach.

First job: Operating a state park in Flagler County at age 18. "It was a lonely experience because I was the only one working there."

Specialty: Urban revitalization designed to bring young adult residents into downtown core. "For a healthy city to thrive, you need more business, residential and retail. We're kind of short on all of those."

Latest project: Set to start construction later this year on The William, a seven-story, 45-unit commercial and residential building next to Wall Street Lofts that features art deco architecture and prices in the $200,000 range.

Biggest influences: His family, which has been in Daytona Beach since the 1950s. Grandfather helped develop about 40 beach motels and the former Marco Polo Park, and parents have been involved in construction of Sugarmill Plantation, Fairchild Oaks and other neighborhoods.

Turning point: Though he was going into the industry of securities analysis and stocks, he couldn't get a job when he graduated from Stetson in 2001. "It was a really bad time for stocks. Luckily, I started getting into real estate here."

Recommended reading: "Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream" by Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk and Jeff Speck and "The Death and Life of Great American Cities" by Jane Jacobs. "It took me awhile to figure out how to make money and develop a business model based around the concepts these books give you."

Other involvement: Board of Downtown Daytona Beach Partnership; executive committee of Daytona Young Professionals Group; member of Rotary Club of Daytona Beach.

Favorite saying: Quote by Scrooge McDuck: "Work smarter, not harder."

Advice for young professionals: "Find a niche, something no one else is doing that's marketable. Then be creative about it."

Tags: Around Florida

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