Josh Guberman put himself through college by driving a yellow cab and scooping ice cream at an Upper West Side Häagen Dazs shop. Today, his Core Development Group is a driving force behind the bustling real estate industry throughout New York City
By Stephanie Wilson | Photography by Reynaldo Alés
Every businessman knows that when you see a niche that needs to be filled, the lucrative thing to do is to fill that need in some way that will be both beneficial to you and beneficial to your customers. This is a philosophy that is inherent in the approach and mission statement of Josh Guberman, CEO of Core Development Group, a New York-based real estate management and development company.
“I bought my first building in Clinton Hill with credit card cash advances, and made every mistake in the book as I renovated and launched it for resale.”
“In my family, it was not about money and business,” Guberman explains. “It was really about education, culture, literature, and essentially understanding life.” These family-instilled qualities have combined to form an extraordinary business sense and life approach that shines bright, as is evident today by Guberman’s successful real estate endeavors, which include the heralded Legacy, designed by renowned architect Costas Kondylis, as well as the Union Square Lofts and LUX 74. The projects keep Josh on his toes. At the time designated for our interview, he could be found walking the steel beams high above the street at East 84th Street, insuring the quality controls are maintained on the glass curtain wall showcased at Legacy.
When he did come down from his watchful perch, he took the time to tell us about his rise to success, which is the result of long hours and hard work. “I put myself through college driving a yellow cab at night,” he recalls. “I also was a shift manager at Häagen-Dazs and ran the tutoring office at my alma mater, Hunter College on Park Avenue.” Three jobs in addition to 19 credits per semester and Guberman still managed to graduate summa cum laude, with a double degree in media journalism and political science, and was honored with the prestigious Dawson Award and Natalie Sherwald scholarship for excellence. Phew! Just thinking about it is exhausting, but, upon completion of his studies, the resilient Guberman was off and running, tackling the business world full-force with the founding of the firm Franchise Fixtures.
It was a successful venture that became a multi-million dollar business by the time Josh was only 26. A self-made man, he was not content to simply retire and spend the rest of his life enjoying his hard-earned cash. Guberman turned his focus to the real estate business, first entering on the construction side, starting a company called Design+Build of New York. “We ended up doing about $20 million worth of construction across the East Coast, everything from renovating the famed Bowlmor Lanes in the West Village, to New York institution restaurants such as Dock’s and EJ’s Luncheonette, to construction work for the Marriott Hotel chain, to clothing store chains, as well as luxury homes and town houses,” he recalls.
Guberman brought a service-orientated approach to the business, once again filling a niche that desperately needed to be filled. It was a learning process for the young entrepreneur as he cut his teeth in Brooklyn. “I bought my first building in Clinton Hill with credit card cash advances, and made every mistake in the book as I renovated and launched it for resale,” he recalls with a laugh. “When I finished this major and painful gut renovation and was all set to sell the completed building, I found out it was landmark designated and spent the next four months re-facing and upgrading the exterior façade to historical standards!” As can be guessed from Guberman’s studious past, he learned his lessons quickly and sold the building for a hefty profit.