Conrad Cafritz is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cafritz Interests and Modus Hotels. He has been a leader in the Washington metropolitan real estate community for more than 40 years and oversees a development and management practice that now encompasses office, hotel, retail, residential, and industrial properties throughout the United States.
Mr. Cafritz is the son of Morris Cafritz, who began developing real estate in Washington, DC in 1919 and became the city’s most prolific developer during the mid-20th century. Conrad Cafritz joined his father’s firm, The Cafritz Company, after graduating from Yale University in 1960. He soon established his own company, known today as Cafritz Interests, as well as the affiliated Potomac Hospitality Services, now known as Modus Hotels.
Under Mr. Cafritz’s leadership, Cafritz Interests has grown steadily into a diverse, full-service real estate development company, owning as many as 120 properties representing a value of over $1.2 billion at one time. He has overseen the development of numerous commercial office buildings and thousands of residential properties. A pioneer in modern hotel management concepts, Mr. Cafritz was a pioneer in the development of the all-suite concept in Washington, DC and converted several traditional apartment buildings into full-service, extended-stay facilities. These operations include The River Inn, One Washington Circle Hotel, and The Virginian Suites, as well as the Windsor Hotel in Philadelphia and Comfort Suites in Chicago. Additionally, Modus Hotels is developing POD DC, which will be the first “micro-hotel” in the downtown business district in vibrant Penn Quarter. POD DC hotel is set to open in the Fall of 2016.
Mr. Cafritz with the team at Novus Residences is pioneering a dramatically new concept, e-lofts. e-lofts will begin by transforming vacant suburban office buildings to loft apartments and offices. These so-called, LIVE, LIVE-WORK and WORK loft spaces will be joined by attendant, unique communal activity spaces. The first e-lofts to open will be e-lofts Alexandria, in a 14-story, 240,000 sq ft building in the City of Alexandria. e-lofts Alexandria will engender 200 loft live/work spaces opening September 2016.
Milestone projects also under Mr. Cafritz’s direction include the 850,000 square-foot Security West campus in Baltimore, MD. The complex, substantially renovated during the late 1990s, is leased entirely to the U.S. General Services Administration for use by the Social Security Administration and continues to be owned and operated by Cafritz Interests. The repositioning of Washington Harbour in Georgetown in 1988 and the first major commercial office development in Washington on a speculative basis after the real estate crash of 1990, 1775 Eye Street, in 1995 were initiatives directed by Mr. Cafritz.
Mr. Cafritz is also active in numerous professional, civic, and charitable organizations throughout the Washington region. He serves on the governing board of Management Leadership for Tomorrow, an organization that promotes applications by minorities in the major MBA programs; the Federal City Council; as a long-term board member of PEN Faulkner Foundation, which awards a major prize for fiction; on the Brooking Council; the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; and formerly on the Photographic Acquisition Committee of the Guggenheim Museum and the advisory committee of the Democratic Leadership Council. Mr. Cafritz is also a member of the Sterling Fellows at Yale University and the Aspen Institute Fellows.
President and Chief Executive Officer, Modus Hotels
Aaron Katz brings over 20 years of diverse professional experience to his role as President and CEO of Modus Hotels, an owner, operator, and development company headquartered in Washington, DC. With a joint JD-MBA degree from Georgetown University, Katz’s experience runs the gamut from tax accounting at Arthur Andersen, to advising Fortune 500 companies on mergers and acquisitions as a strategy consultant. His career in hospitality began while leading brand management and strategy as Vice President at Choice Hotels, the world’s second largest franchise company. As President and CEO at Modus Hotels, he has overseen and spearheaded a cohesive brand strategy and acquired and/or developed seven hotels since he took the reins in 2007.
Robert Seldin is the Chief Executive Officer of NOVUS Residences, a multifamily partnership with Conrad Cafritz and Cafritz Interests which was formed in 2011.
Prior to establishing NOVUS Residences, Mr. Seldin was the Senior Vice President of Mid-Atlantic Investments for Archstone, the nation’s highest-yielding apartment Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), where he oversaw all development activity from Washington, DC south to Atlanta, GA. During his 12-year tenure with the firm, Mr. Seldin was directly responsible for the site selection, land acquisition, entitlement, design, development, financing, and/or construction of over 8,000 apartment homes, representing a total investment activity in excess of $2 billion, as well as establishing Archstone’s “Westchester” brand of apartment communities. Mr. Seldin’s Washington, DC area projects have been frequent award winners, garnering industry recognition as the “Best Mid-Atlantic Adaptive Reuse Project,” “Best Mid-Atlantic Low Rise Apartment Community,” “Best Mid-Atlantic Garden Apartment Community,” and “Fastest Maryland Lease-up Pace,” each award serving as testament to Mr. Seldin’s eye for, and attention to, detail.
Mr. Seldin earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Studies & Planning from the State University of New York at Albany and a Master of Architecture from Georgia Tech.
Scott Lanz is Senior Vice President of Novus Residences. He is a construction executive with 35 years of experience in the multi-family housing business. He manages the construction activities for both Novus Residences and Modus Hotels from due diligence through project close out.
Prior to joining the Cafritz Interests, Mr. Lanz began his career in Houston before moving to Atlanta to join Trammel Crow Residential, where he worked for 15 years, then with a general contractor who built three projects for Archstone. During that time relationships were cultivated and he would join Archstone as their Group Vice President and led the company’s construction team in Washington, DC.
Mr. Lanz has been a part of over 60 projects totaling over 18,000 units with a value in excess of $2 billion. These projects have included renovation, garden style, mid-rise high density wrap, high rise, and hotels, both in suburban and urban markets in Texas, Tennessee, Atlanta, Florida, and the District of Columbia. Included in the project list are several award winning projects, including the first multi-family project developed in Disney’s Town of Celebration and the $100 million HUD financed Archstone 1st and M project in DC.
Mr. Lanz earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Bethany College in West Virginia.
Executive Vice President, Novus Residences
Melanie Domres has served as the Senior Vice President of Cafritz Interests since 2007 and is also the Executive Vice President of NOVUS Residences.
Over the span of her career, Ms. Domres has overseen the operations of more than 15,000 apartments in 15 states and the District of Columbia. She has worked at the institutional level, managing an extensive apartment portfolio for the Goldman Sachs subsidiary Archon Group, as well as turning around a distressed portfolio owned by Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette (now Credit Suisse First Boston). She has worked for private developers, including the asset management of more than 8,000 apartments for Kettler in Washington, DC and developing 2,000 apartments for Berman Companies in Philadelphia, and immediately prior to joining Cafritz Interests served as Vice President of ARK Realty Capital, where she arranged debt and equity financing for over $500 million in transactions, including $300 million in residential projects.
In nearly 10 years at Cafritz Interests, Ms. Domres has directed the development and asset management of all of the firm’s projects, including the acquisition, financing, and entitlement of 244 apartments at Novus Odenton in Odenton, MD; 200 lofts at e-Lofts Alexandria in Alexandria, VA; 403 apartments and 25,000 square feet of retail at Novus Fairfax Gateway in Fairfax, VA; the construction, lease-up, and financing of a 430,000 square-foot industrial facility in Allentown, PA; and the construction, lease-up, and disposition of a 376-bed luxury student housing community at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI. Additionally, she directs the management operations and oversees tenant relations for a GSA-leased 800,000 square-foot facility in Woodlawn, MD occupied by the Social Security Administration.
With experience in all property types, Ms. Domres has directed multiple acquisitions and dispositions, served as project manager for numerous large rehabilitation projects, and has overseen all aspects of the construction, lease-up, and sale of various properties across the country. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Stanford University in 1986 and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in 1995.
Adam Gollance is the Chief Financial Officer of Cafritz Interests and, as such, oversees all of the finance and accounting functions for Cafritz Interests,
Modus Hotels, and NOVUS Residences. His responsibilities include the management of the firm’s accounting professionals, the direction of all financial aspects for the company, risk management activities, and strategic leadership. He is proficient in all aspects of financial services related to the real estate and hospitality industries.
Mr. Gollance has over 20 years of real estate and hospitality experience working with major corporations and accounting organizations. Prior to serving as CFO of Cafritz Interests, Mr. Gollance was a Vice President at Marriott International, where he led several hotel acquisitions, dispositions, refinancing projects, and restructurings and formulated operational improvement plans for the properties. Prior to working at Marriott, he worked at Cushman & Wakefield, Inc. in New York City in the firm’s asset management group.
Mr. Gollance earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business.