Atlantic Realty Companies, Inc.
Co-Founder and President
CLASS OF 1978
Founding one of the largest privately owned real estate development companies in a metropolitan area is quite an achievement, but when the metropolitan area is Washington, D.C., and its surrounding suburbs, this achievement is a businessman's dream. David A. Ross, president and co-founder of Atlantic Realty Companies, Inc., employs 100 real estate professionals who are actively engaged in the development and day-to-day management of more than six million square feet of office and retail properties-valued at more than $750 million. Among his many duties, Ross loves to take a piece of land and work with the local jurisdictions and the surrounding community to develop it to its highest and best use. "The challenge is to create something that will be viewed positively and will benefit the surrounding community," he says. Ross was selected "Citizen of the Year" in Reston, Virginia, where his company had acquired, developed, and/or redeveloped almost two million square feet during the last decade.
Ross was not always a leader, but he says that was one of the things that W&J taught him. "I came to W&J not knowing quite what to expect. I was interested in participating in sports and looked forward to receiving a good education but by the time I graduated, I learned what it took to become a leader," he says.
His interest in a pre-law degree to enter the real estate field as an attorney changed when he met a professor who had an interest in city planning. "He was instrumental in allowing me to do independent studies outside of the classroom," Ross remembers. "I began to develop an enjoyment of city planning and real estate development after doing work at the county planning commission and in the summers for a local real estate developer and contractor."
Prior to his graduation, Ross had already helped to plan several developments through the physical sciences department at W&J. This experience allowed him to get a job quickly after his post-graduate study planning developments with the Rouse Company. "Looking back, almost 30 years later, it's gratifying to see that the College is keeping itself up with the times," says Ross. "It is worthy of the praise it receives."