David Ravin

David Ravin
President and CEO, Northwood Ravin LLC, Charlotte, NC

Bachelor of Arts in Architecture with a Minor in Geography, UNC Charlotte (1994)
Master of Architecture, University of Michigan (1996)
Master of Science in Real Estate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1998)

Hometown: Durham, N.C.

Even though he grew up in a family of medical professionals, David Ravin knew early on that he was more interested in the built environment than the workings of the human body. A summer architecture camp for high school students at Cornell University introduced him to the intensity of an architecture education, and rather than being deterred by the hard work, he was hooked.

All-nighters at UNC Charlotte with his fellow architecture students are among his most vivid memories. “We would go and try to find something to eat or drink in the middle of night,” he says. “We would wander around campus looking for a vending machine at 3 or 4 am. We had the entire campus to ourselves, and the only activity happening anywhere was within Storrs Hall. People would start to get a little chippy after not sleeping, and things would be thrown across studio or deep conversations about nothing would start. It was a unique time. Spending the entire night working with people bonds you together in a way that is difficult to explain.”

After pursuing graduate studies in architecture at the University of Michigan and real estate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology – with a year in between in business school and a single day (!) in law school – David returned to Charlotte to join Crosland Real Estate Investment Company, where he worked for 14 years and became President of Crosland Residential.

In 2011 he embarked on his own enterprise, forming Ravin Partners, and soon joined forces with New York-based Northwood Investors. Now Northwood Ravin employs 350 associates and has projects in six states. Concentrating on developing, constructing, and managing luxury for-rent and mixed-use housing, Northwood Ravin is the second-largest commercial developer in the Raleigh-Durham market and fourth-largest in the Charlotte area and was Charlotte's top commercial real estate developer in 2020. Current local projects include a 15-story apartment building on West Trade Street in uptown Charlotte and a 16-story building in Ballantyne Corporate Park.

While David’s enthusiasm for graduate education is apparent from his multiple degrees, he says that undergraduate school is “where you mature the fastest,” transforming “from a high school kid to an adult.” He therefore counsels current students to take full advantage of those years.

“I know it is easy to only focus on what is next, after college. But you will not be around your classmates like you are now ever again. Each step after college is narrower. It is a period in your life you will never get back. So enjoy it!”

David is the 2023 College of Arts + Architecture Distinguished Alumnus in Architecture.