Myron “Mike” Curzan, CEO
Mr. Curzan began his career as a Real Estate Strategist, Developer and Owner’s Representative more than 30 years ago when he served as a Legislative Assistant to Senator Robert F. Kennedy. In that role, Mr. Curzan devised and then drafted the Senator’s legislation that produced tax incentives to corporations that created jobs and housing in America’s poverty areas.
After the assassination of Senator Kennedy, Mr. Curzan began work as a lawyer at the prestigious Washington law firm of Arnold & Porter. Almost from the outset, his practice involved the unique specialty of developing housing and other projects of scale for governmental bodies, universities, and nonprofit corporations . Thus, he managed the planning and construction of approximate ly 300 employee-based housing units and a machine shop for the Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation on the Navajo Reservation in Shiprock, New Mexico. The project done through a new nonprofit corporation-was feted at the White House as the most innovative development project ever undertaken on an Indian Reservation.
Mr. Curzan and his law firm were then retained by the Ford Foundation to strategically plan and develop real estate for the country’s then fledgling community development corporations. Mr. Curzan was successful in creating housing and economic development programs in Hancock County, Georgia, the Mississippi Delta, Southeast Alabama, rural Louisiana, and Watts, Los Angeles.
Thereafter, Mr. Curzan was retained by the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) to work out and then to sell a number of HUD’s failed new community projects. He was also retained by New York City and New York State, as well as other governmental bodies, to help them plan out housing development strategies.
Mr. Curzan became a Partner at Arnold & Porter in 1973 and a Senior Partner at the law firm in 1978. During this same period, he was asked to go on several Boards of Directors as a strategist and consumer representative. Thus, Mr. Curzan was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Scovill Manufacturing Company and the Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company.
In the mid-1980s, Mr. Curzan established a consulting company, APCO Associates, and a real estate development company, MPC & Associates, as wholly owned subsidiaries of Arnold & Porter. He remained a Senior Partner of the law firm.
MPC & Associates quickly developed a specialty in undertaking faculty, staff, and student housing programs for universities and medical centers. Among its most successful projects were a 600-unit faculty program at the University of California-Irvine and a 535-bed student-housing program at Tulane University. Other planning and implementation programs included such universities as Dartmouth, Davidson, and Columbia. Mr. Curzan was also instrumental in helping Fannie Mae design its employee-housing program.
In 1990, Mr. Curzan took a two-year hiatus from Arnold & Porter and its subsidiaries to become Vice Chairman of the Board of Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company in charge of Investments (including approximately $2.2 billion of real estate). In 1992, he returned to Arnold & Porter as an Of Counsel and as Chairman of the Board of MPC & Associates.
In 1994, MPC & Associates was sold to Sallie Mae, with Mr. Curzan remaining as its Chairman.In 1996, he left both Arnold & Porter and MPC & Associates to start his current firm, UniDev, LLC. UniDev has also specialized in planning and developing housing for universities and their cities.
In that role, he has worked for the California State University (CSU) in planning and then beginning the implementation of a 900-unit housing project at the System’s new campus in Ventura County. This program is designed to be affordable to faculty and staff making as little as$30,.000 per year. Working with Citibank, CSU’s partner in Ventura County, Mr. Curzan has been designing housing programs for employees of universities and their cities that can provide home ownersh ip to people who have between 50% and 80% of the local median income. These projects are being undertaken for various campuses of the CSU System.
Throughout his career, Mr. Curzan has been active on the Boards of various nonprofit corporations. He has served with WETA, The Public Broadcasting Station of Washington, DC, as the Chairman of its Finance Committee; The Rocky Mountain Institute as the Chairman of its Finance Committee; and the George Washington University as the Chairman of its Finance Committee and its Investment Committee, and as the head of a committee designed to deal with its Medical Center.
He is a graduate, magna cum laude, of Columbia College and magna cum laude of The Columbia Law School. He holds a Master’s Degree from Yale University, where he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow.