CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
and David Colman, and lifelong
friend Tyler Ross. The three grew
up together in Bloomfield Hills and
attended Cranbrook Schools. Now
they share an office at Governor's
Place off Woodward, not far from
their old neighborhood.
ROCO started with a passion
shared by Michael and Tyler, both
27, which they explored while
learning their trade at Edward
Rose & Sons in Farmington Hills.
"We were both very interested in
the multifamily sector," Michael
says, "but between us we didn't
know much about construction.
So we decided that with our
understanding of finance and the
industry as a whole, we should
start buying existing properties,
picking up great assets at a
discount. It was the perfect time to
get into the market."
With the state and country not
fully recovered from the recession,
ROCO is still seizing on "great
deals at great prices" across the
Both Michael and Tyler spent
time out of state before returning
home. Tyler studied economics
at the University of Chicago and
earned his juris doctor at Fordham
Law School in New York City.
Michael studied political science at
the University of Wisconsin before
moving back to Michigan.
Michael's younger brother
David, 25, attended U-M's Ross
Business School before moving to
New York City to join the analyst
program at BlackRock Investment
Management. After three years at
BlackRock, David decided to make
the move back to Michigan to
team up with Michael and Tyler.
"I had an amazing experience
living in Manhattan and working
at BlackRock, learning from some
of the brightest minds in the
industry," David says, "but at the
same time I wanted to do more, to
be my own boss, and I've always
considered myself an entrepreneur.
When I saw the initial success Tyler
and Michael were having, it made
the decision to come back that
The three attribute their success
to the ROCO business model,
centered on buying existing
apartment buildings of all types,
from walkups to high rises, and
then hiring local management
companies to run the units for
"The predominance of our
properties are in Michigan and
Ohio today, but we plan to start
making acquisitions in the South,"
Michael said, though he's quick to
add ROCO isn't going anywhere.
"Our headquarters will always
be rooted in Michigan. We're
working on growth here, and we're
bullish on the state. There's a lot
of great talent, and we feel we've
gotten a head start on those still
talking about moving back. We're
excited to be in on the ground
In a community shaped by
national leaders in the real estate
sector, the three friends and
business partners realize they have
big shoes to fill.
"We're not trying to copy
what other successful real estate
companies have accomplished.
Rather, we want to build our own
name and do our own thing,
though we recognize there's a
clear Jewish real estate legacy,"
David adds, "It's important to
us to have a good name because
at the end of the day we hope
to be around for many years and
our name is really all we have.
We want to be successful, make
money, be smart in how we run
our business, but it's really all
about being moral, having a good
reputation and being known as a
company that others want to do
Beyond their buildings, Tyler said
he and his partners share a passion
for philanthropy and look to make
a commitment to giving back with
"It's a priority for us to do more
than just make money. This is
the community our grandparents
helped shape, and now we want
to focus on giving back to the
causes we're passionate about,"
That's a "huge part of why we're
so hungry and so motivated to
succeed," David says. "We don't
just care about monetary success.
We care about Detroit Public
Schools, local hospitals and the
Jewish community. The sense of
accomplishment that comes from
giving back, that's what we're all
The Jewish News
will honor all Jewish
students who are
graduating this spring
from Michigan high
schools in our Cap &
Gown Yearbook 2013.
The Yearbook will be
published in our May
JN Cap & Gown
-Me Yearbook to pt... cur May19 /awe.
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April 11 • 2013