Real Estate



While most developers specialize in a niche product type — such as apartments, shopping centers or industrial buildings — Ustler is devoted to location. He only works on redevelopment projects in downtown Orlando, earning him the nickname Mr. Downtown.

In the early 2000s, Ustler and business partner Phil Rampy sparked a turnaround of downtown Orlando’s east side with Thornton Park Central, a $31-million, mixed-used project that included condos, restaurants, shops and offices. Today, Ustler is leading the development team for Creative Village, a $1.5-billion redevelopment project on 68 acres of the city’s economically challenged west side. Anchored by a new joint University of Central Florida and Valencia College campus, the project will also feature a headquarters for video gaming giant Electronic Arts, as well as apartments, retail and other office space.

Ustler has done a range of projects in downtown Orlando totaling more than $200 million. They include the 105,000-sq.-ft. GAI building in Thornton Park, a green building that was completed in 2011; the Ivy Residences at Health Village, a 248-unit apartment complex that opened in 2014 near AdventHealth’s downtown campus; a Residence Inn by Marriott on North Orange Avenue that opened in 2015; and the 800 North Orange Avenue office building, where his own firm is headquartered.

A third-generation Orlando resident, Ustler grew up in College Park in a family with a rich agricultural heritage. His paternal grandfather’s fernery, the Ustler Brothers Nursery, is credited with making Apopka an indoor foliage capital. His mother, Kay, was the daughter of Winter Garden citrus baron Jerry Chicone.

But Ustler’s fascination was with cities and real estate. He got an early schooling in the business from his father, Tom, a commercial real estate broker — and at 18, Ustler earned his own real estate license. Jim Pugh, a prominent Orlando developer, was also an early mentor.

Ustler attended the University of Florida, where he majored in urban economics and went on to earn a master’s degree from UF in real estate and urban analysis. After college, he returned to Orlando and launched his real estate career doing appraisals and asset management. By the early 1990s, he was flipping houses in College Park, Delaney Park, Thornton Park and other downtown Orlando neighborhoods. He graduated to building single-family homes, which gave way to building duplexes, fourplexes and eventually larger projects.

As he reshapes city’s skyline, Ustler is also leaving his mark on the community. He serves on the board of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and the Urban Think Foundation, a non-profit that promotes the literary arts and other educational and creative activities in Orlando. He has also served on the board of the Historical Society of Central Florida.

“I got my real estate license at age 18 and never looked back. I am an urban planner at heart, and a lover of great cities.”

John Albright

Consolidated-Tomoka Land

Carlos Alfonso

Alfonso Architects

Joel Altman

Altman Cos.

John Baker

FRP Holdings


Codina Partners

Michael Belmont

Minto Communities USA

Randy Benderson

Benderson Development

Allan Bense

Bense Enterprises

Jeff Berkowitz

Berkowitz Development Group

Stephanie Berman-Eisenberg

Carrfour Supportive Housing

Angelo Bianco

Crocker Partners

Tere Blanca

Blanca Commercial Real Estate

David Boree


Peter Bos



Swire Properties

Michael C. Brown

Skanska USA

Edward Burr

GreenPointe Holdings

Brian Butler

JCB Construction

Malcolm Butters

Butters Construction & Development

Lissette Calderon

Neology Life Development

Tracy Duda Chapman

A. Duda & Sons

Chris Corr

Raydient Places & Properties

Husein Cumber

Florida East Coast Industries

Ron Davoli


Edgardo Defortuna

Fortune International Group

Gil Dezer

Dezer Development

David Duda

A. Duda & Sons

Misha Ezratti

GL Homes

Art Falcone

Encore Capital Management

Michael Fay

Avison Young


JC White Architectural


JC White Architectural

Bernardo Fort-Brescia


Mark Gensheimer

Penn-Florida Cos.

Mark Gilbert

Cushman & Wakefield

James Goldsmith

Gator Investments

Jorge L. Gonzalez

St. Joe Co.

Jeff Greene

Investor & Developer

Steven Halverson

Haskell Co.

Gary Harrod

Harrod Properties

David Hoffmann

Hoffmann Family of Companies

Mori Hosseini

ICI Homes

C.T. Hsu

C.T. Hsu + Associates

Don Huffner

Collier Enterprises

Mark Israel

Universal Engineering Sciences

Rex Jensen

Schroeder-Manatee Ranch

Bobby Julien

Kolter Group

Paul Kaplan

KW Property Management & Consulting

Arden Karson

Karson & Co.

Ezra Katz

Aztec Group

Michael Kaufman

Kaufman Lynn Construction

Justin Kennedy

Grass River Property

William Kerdyk Jr.

Kerdyk Real Estate

Syd Kitson

Kitson & Partners

Edward M. Kobel

DeBartolo Development

Rob Kornahrens

Advanced Roofing

Ryan Kratz

Colliers International Group

Matthew Whitman Lazenby

Whitman Family Development

Diego Lowenstein

Lionstone Development

Scott Lutgert

Lutgert Cos.

Moishe Mana

Mana Group

Jorge Mas


Neil Merin

Nai/Merin Hunter Codman

Harley Miller

Miller Construction

Mark Morse

The Villages

Bob Moss

Moss & Associates

Nitin Motwani

Miami Worldcenter Associates

Dev Motwani

Merrimac Ventures

Tom Murphy Jr.

Coastal Construction Group

Patrick K. Neal

Neal Communities

Michael Neal

KAST Construction

James Nozar

Strategic Property Partners

David Nunes


Mike Pappas

Keyes Co. / Illustrated Properties

Mitch Permuy

Power Design

Thomas Peterffy

Interactive Brokers

Beverly Raphael

RCC Associates

Larry Richey

Cushman & Wakefield

Matthew A. Rieger


Sergio Rok

Rok Acquisitions

John Rood

Vestcor Cos.

Barry Rutenberg

Arthur Rutenberg Homes

Greg Ruthven

The Ruthvens

Dean Saunders


Rosa Schechter

Avenir Holdings

Greg Sembler

Sembler Co.

Darryl Shaw

BluePearl Veterinary Partners

Craig Sher

Sembler Co.

Linda Sherrer

Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices

Jeffrey Soffer

Fountainebleau Development

Jackie Soffer

Turnberry Associates

Jessica Goldman Srebnick

Goldman Properties

Martin “Hap” Stein

Regency Centers

Rasesh Thakkar

Tavistock Group

Craig Ustler

Ustler Development

Robert White

KW Property Management & Consulting

Chuck Whittall

Unicorp National Developments



Phil Wood

John R. Wood Properties

Andrew Wright

Franklin Street

Stuart Wyllie

Graham Cos.

Jim Zboril

Tavistock Development

Bernard Zyscovich

Zyscovich Architects