Following his ‘younger next year’ mantra, Vegas developer has no plans of slowing down

In the past 50 years, Schulman Properties has developed about $2 billion in real estate.

“Nevertheless, I believe it will be bigger than ever in the next five years,” says its chairman, Bob Schulman.

“It is amazing, but I honestly believe today, at an age where most people have packed it in, I am smarter and better than I have ever been,” he added. “We have also brought on board Brian Burdzinski as a partner, who was president of multifamily homes for a major national real estate company and prior to that spent 15 years as its CFO. With Brian on board, our future is unlimited.

“As for me, I will follow my mantra of ‘younger next year,’ and expect to be having the same fun that I am having today.”

Schulman Properties developed Alexis Park, Montecito Town Center and Tenaya Village. Its most recent development, though, Tuscan Highlands, is Schulman’s proudest accomplishment.

“I believe it has no equal with its breathtaking amenities such as the beach club, health club, restaurant, and so much more,” he said. The 304-unit community offers amenities not often seen in multifamily, including a gaming and esports lounge, onsite restaurant, heated saltwater pool with a second resistance pool, health club, salon and more.

Bob Schulman

Bob Schulman

How many local developments are you currently working on or recently completed?

In addition to Tuscan Highlands, we currently have in the works a 236-unit multifamily community called Sunridge. It’s is located contiguous to the Las Vegas Raiders headquarters and practice facility — an extremely convenient location for locals, sports fans and relocators alike.

With our expansion of trendsetting multifamily communities across the valley, we’ve generated considerable institutional interest from capital partners. They see our vision and want to be apart of the next best thing in the industry.

How has the pandemic affected your company?

Our Tuscan Highlands construction was slowed substantially, and costs have increased because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fortunately, we have been leasing at rental rates and velocity even greater than our original projections, which has been extremely positive.

A bigger impact is that the pandemic has scared away investors and lenders and slowed down new projects greatly. Fortunately, during the last month or so, everyone seems to be coming out of the woodwork.

While Las Vegas has slowed down due to COVID, we’ve seen an uptick in real estate and other developments. What is driving that?

Las Vegas is just a great place to live; it is more affordable than most of the other major metropolitan cities in the U.S. In the Tuscan Highlands community, 62% of new residents are from out of town.

The biggest driver is the great numbers who work from home. Also, retirees looking for an ideal resort atmosphere, with unlimited activities at their doorstep — where they never have to leave.

As a developer during these difficult times, what is the top priority at your communities?

Click to enlarge photo

A outdoor area at Tuscan Highlands.

First and foremost is making sure that we are ahead of the curve and our community is safe.

With Tuscan Highlands, we have created huge spaces that allow us to easily socially distance and yet allow for great usage. For example, our health club and gym is 10,000 square feet, our restaurant, Becca’s, is not only 9,000 square feet but also has 12,000 square feet of outdoor dining.

A NASA-approved air purification system is utilized in Becca’s Restaurant & Lounge and the gaming and Esports lounge. It is also utilized in our health club, conference room and leasing lounge.

How long do you think it will take for Las Vegas to make a full recovery?

By the end of the year we will see substantial recovery, with a huge influx of tourists, Las Vegas shows returning, and sporting events open to the masses.

We will then see a full recovery starting in the middle of 2022 to the end of 2022, when conventions will start to take place as before.

There is tremendous pent-up demand for Las Vegas, and I believe that by 2023, we will exceed all past records.

What is the best business advice you’ve received?

To clearly define our goals. Once the goals are clearly defined, put together the cookbook to meet them. Be prepared to adjust them as necessary, as the world changes on a daily basis. And most importantly, think outside of the box: There is an amazing world out there.

If you could change one thing about Southern Nevada, what would it be?

I am pretty satisfied. That is why we have been living in Las Vegas for the past 38 years with no intent to move. However, if I could change one thing, it would be to eliminate cars on Las Vegas Boulevard and make it into a beautiful paseo.

What are you reading right now? Or binge-watching?

While I am focused on the news, as the world is in such turmoil, I am, like most everyone else, particularly interested in COVID-19, the economy and the direction of the government.

While I am primarily reading and watching the news, unquestionably I would recommend “Peak,” by Chip Conley. Chip was a speaker at a real estate convention I went to, and I was very, very impressed. The book reinforced my belief in getting great ideas from great people and then making great decisions based upon them, and to never compromise any decision.

I highly recommend for anyone in business to read “Bold and Abundance,” by Peter Diamandis.

What is something that people might not know about you?

I graduated from high school with a C- average. When I was 17 years old, I went into the Army to earn the GI bill.

Fortunately, when I got out of the Army, with no idea of what direction to go, someone suggested to me that I study accounting. I did and I received all A’s.

Best advice I could have gotten, as a Certified Public Accounting background is more than invaluable and was a great steppingstone to all my business endeavors.

Anything else you want to tell us?

I consider myself to be one of the luckiest people on earth. At my age, I am able to do the most fun things possible, such as creating one-of-a-kind communities, playing tennis four times a week, traveling, and most importantly being in good health.

I have seen many very successful individuals who have quit or retired, and subsequently went downhill. My advice is to keep your mind very active, eat well, sleep well, do breathing exercises and meditation, and you will also be “younger next year.”


This story appeared in Las Vegas Weekly.