Week of 6.26.17

Welcome to the home of Social Lights. New online reports with photos appear each week on the website and in the monthly print editions for the Birmingham-Bloomfield area and the Rochester-Rochester Hills area at the start of each month. If you want e-mail notification of when new Social Lights columns are posted to this site each Monday, sign up in the Newsletter Sign Up box at the lower right side of this home page.

Suite Dreams Project Hats Off Luncheon

From the first sip of pink bubbly (in a split with a pink straw) to the Hat Crawl guests’ exit with huge, hot pink balloons, the 16th annual Hats Off Luncheon was a dreamy, Sweet/Suite Sixteen production. During the reception the sold-out crowd (400 @ $150, $200-patron) oohed and aahed each others’ hats and bought all of the 1,000 chance auction raffle tickets. The luncheon program emceed by Rhonda Walker had highlights. Ali MacManus, a songwriter/singer who was born prematurely with multiple birth defects and has survived 11 major surgeries, got a standing ovation when she sang her composition “Breaking Free.”
This weeks social light photos…


oakland confidential

July 2017

GET WELL SOON: We know others will join us in wishing Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson a speedy recovery after back surgery on June 1 in the green mountain state of North Carolina. Word is he had a pretty aggressive surgery to help him get out of the wheelchair he was finding himself bound to more and more, and one Republican said that he is already feeling better. Patterson was seriously ...more»
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Photo: Laurie Tennent
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03/03/2015 - If business really is all about who you know, then the principal owners of Bloomfield Hills-based ROCO Real Estate didn't have to look very far to find each other and formulate a business plan.

"We grew up together going to Cranbrook Schools," said David Colman, who started the young and growing firm with his brother Michael Colman and friend Tyler Ross. "We have known Tyler throughout our own lives, and our families go way back. Our grandparents and parents were friends."

While the two families have been friendly for generations, their businesses – Acme Mills, an automotive textile supplier owned by the Colman family, and the real estate development company Edward Rose & Sons, owned by Ross' family – it wasn't until 2012 that the three men merged the two families in a joint venture.

At the time, Ross, who in 2011 earned his law degree from Fordham Law School in New York, had gone to work for his family's firm, where Michael Colman was already overseeing new acquisitions. Meanwhile David Colman was working as a product strategist for the investment firm BlackRock in New York. Then an intriguing offer came from home.

"I had an amazing experience there and learned a lot," David Colman said about his time at BlackRock. "It's an amazing firm with so many smart people, but (Michael and Tyler) decided at Ed Rose to start their own company, and they were putting a lot of pressure on me to come back and team up to do it together. After weighing the pros and cons, I moved back to where I grew up, and the three of us really started the company together."

Later, Tyler's brother, Evan, joined the firm as a silent partner. "He's actually an opera singer," Colman said.

Since forming the business in 2012, ROCO has grown its holdings to about 50 properties with a value of more than $425 million. Colman said the firm focuses on multi-family spaces, primarily apartment buildings, that don't require much rehabilitation in tertiary markets. However, the real strategy behind the firm's growth is the ability to find deals before they are heavily promoted in the marketplace. The results, he said, have been a bit of a shock in an industry that has traditionally been dominated by more established firms with older, more experienced executives.

"We are focused on being innovative and cutting edge, and doing things differently," he said of the staff, which consists of nine people, including the principals, who are all in their 20s. "Usually, it's older people that are focused on this industry. When we started, we said, 'let's do things differently.' We didn't want to build our company like those that have been doing it for 40 years and are stuck in their way. We wanted to do something differently. It feels more like a tech star-up, rather than a real estate firm."

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