David Lyles, a third-generation builder, is president and chief executive officer of David Lyles Developers, based in Hagerstown, Md.
Among other projects, his firm has developed commercial properties, such as Trilogy Professional Center and the Lyles Center in the Hagerstown area, as well as residential developments, such as Nottingham Meadows in Antrim Township, Pa.
Lyles is a graduate of Saint James School and the University of Maryland.
On a break, is it coffee, tea, soda, water … ?
La Croix, sparkling water, any flavor.
An average day for you includes … ?
I try to start every morning on a job site, but after that, no two days are alike for me.
I have a diversified business, so on any given day I could be working with commercial or residential tenants on new leases, meeting new home owners, negotiating a buy or sale of commercial property, running a partner meeting, designing a medical build-out and/or orchestrating subcontractors on a new construction project. Each day is a new adventure.
What have been biggest opportunities and challenges you’ve seen this year?
With the economy finally moving in a positive direction, I’m seeing new growth in commercial real estate — especially in medical projects. I have held on to land for years, so to see developments finally pan out because of economic growth is encouraging.
We are now witnessing Washington County (Md.) opening up to new professional fields and industries, which is bringing opportunity to our region. Commerce is emerging, moving west and across state lines, resulting in a larger scope of possibility.
In the real estate and construction management industry, it seems like around every corner there is more regulation. Levels of bureaucracy are stalling progress, and it is taking additional lead time and capital to get projects off the ground.
Before I was competing with a few other developers in the area but now, more than ever, it is a global playing field. Preparing for and embracing for change helps meet that challenge. I’ve surrounded myself with a skilled team, and together we take on the evolving marketplace.
I think the biggest challenge for me has always been time. It is tempting to want to take on every opportunity and to be hands on with every project. To make the most out of every minute, I am streamlining, strategically delegating and pacing myself.
Can you share some highlights about upcoming projects?
As a third-generation developer in Washington County, I just don’t “build to build” — I build with a purpose to improve our community by bringing in new resources and new job opportunities.
We’ve researched medical specialties that are unavailable or are limited in the Hagerstown area and targeted those practices. Most recently I’ve been working on both Light Business Park (off Eastern Boulevard) and The Meridian Building (on Leitersburg Pike), so you will see some out-of-town medical firms residing here soon.
As a company, we’ve made a natural progression towards commercial real estate opportunities, and I am very optimistic about where David Lyles Developers is heading.
Outside of work, what are your ambitions and aspirations?
Like anyone else, I would like to spend more time doing the things I enjoy: playing more golf and tennis, spending time with my friends, participating in syndicate shooting, traveling and maybe even learning to play the piano.
Again, with time being such a precious commodity, being a supportive father and husband and being present for my family are very important to me. I want to be the example for my children to never compromise integrity for the sake of the deal, to pay your dues, to appreciate others, that no one is perfect, that learning is a lifelong adventure and that good guys don’t always finish last.
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