Mark DeMaria: A Developer Redefining Urban Living

HALL Structured Finance Partner Spotlight Series

The HALL Structured Finance (HSF) team spoke with award-winning developer and construction executive Mark DeMaria, the CEO of DevMar Development, a company focused on creating enduring, luxury residential developments in premier locations. Mark’s history in construction and willingness to go against the grain led to his passion for delivering cutting-edge developments. HSF sat down with Mark to learn more about his career and what he is working on next.


Starting Out
Mark was born into the real estate industry and began his career working at his family’s construction business in Michigan. Throughout his mid-20s, his dream was to live in a walkable and thriving downtown area. This sparked his passion for developing multifamily projects that enhance the urban living experience. At the time, downtown areas in major metros lacked the high-quality yet accessible living options that exist today. Mark’s interest in construction coupled with his passion to live in a dynamic urban environment led him to buy his first property in downtown Ferndale, Michigan at the age of 26, which was also his first experience with property redevelopment.

After buying and renovating his first property, Mark set his sights on larger new construction, ground-up multifamily developments. His talent was quickly noticed by Chicago-based developers, and he began to work alongside the prominent architecture firm Newman Smith Architecture. After touring many different locations and projects, he became intrigued by industrial lofts. The team at Newman Smith took a chance on Mark’s idea to build a project that contained structural red brick inside of residential units, which was very uncommon at the time. Fast forward four months and the property was sold out. Mark quickly began developing in other parts of the country and his business took off. He then set his sights on the Gulf Coast and Southwest Florida due to their continued population and business growth and quality of life.

RainDance Apartments in Winter Haven, FL

Partnership with HALL Structured Finance
Mark was first referred to HSF in 2016 by Eric Lutz of Lutz Financial. After meeting with several lenders, Mark found that they were only interested in developing in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida and not the EDGE District, where his current project was located. HSF visited the site and immediately saw the opportunity to develop in the beautiful, walkable and well-located area. HSF was able to provide a $35.5 million first lien loan to finance the construction of the Vantage Apartments. Mark noted that “HALL Structured Finance immediately saw our vision for the Vantage Apartments in St. Petersburg. The entire experience through pre-closing was on point and the entire team was great to work with, making the loan process seamless.”

HSF later closed two additional loans with Mark and DevMar Development – the RainDance Apartments in Winter Haven, Florida, and the Metro Apartments also in St. Petersburg. “We had such a great experience working with HALL Structured Finance that we continue to update them on our pipeline to determine if there is a fit,” said Mark. “The HSF team was able to see how the RainDance Apartments would fill a void in the market and deliver a unique luxury product that would meet the needs of today’s residents.”

Metro Apartments in St. Petersburg, FL

Redefining Urban Living
Florida has experienced rapid growth during the pandemic and developers such as DevMar are still trying to meet the demand for more housing as individuals continue to flock to the area. Mark’s team is focused on developing in active, walkable and amenity-rich locations. The company is catering to the high-end lifestyle of those who are passionate about living in a high-rise. The multifamily residential and loft properties are all unique and follow the company’s trend of designing nontypical products with a meticulous attention to architectural detail. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, developers focused on constructing small one-bedroom units with more affordable rental rates. Today, Mark notes that they are seeing a trend for larger flex spaces as more individuals continue to work from home.

What’s Next?
In the future, Mark is looking to continue expanding his business in the Florida market, where he hopes to continue working with HSF, by staying laser focused on doing what he does best – building exceptional multifamily properties in dynamic, mixed-use downtown locations.

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