Seth Weissman founded Urban Standard Capital and serves as President. He also serves as the Managing Partner of Weissman Equities and CityShares. Together, these three New York City focused investment funds take a community, place-based approach to real estate investment and development.
Seth employs a creative and thoughtful approach to building value in often overlooked assets. Seth does this by taking a community-oriented approach to real estate investments and making long-term and thoughtful investments. He is committed to enhancing the quality of life in the neighborhoods in which he invests and fundamentally believes neighborhoods are defined by the people who live and work in them.
Seth earned his BS in Economics from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2008, Real Estate New York named Seth one of their 30 Under 30 Rising Stars of commercial real estate and in 2011, the New York Observer name Seth as one of their 50 most influential LGBT leaders. Seth has been featured in The New York Times, New York Post, New York Magazine and other leading publications and has been a featured speaker at the Institute for Private Investors (IPI), the Pratt Institute, Dwell on Design, UBS, Enterprise Community Partners and Deutsche Bank.
Previously, Seth worked in the real estate private equity group of Perry Capital, a $15 billion multi-strategy hedge fund, where he worked on equity and debt investments across multiple asset classes including more than $400 million worth of transactions representing over 2 million square feet of office, multi-family, hospitality, and retail space. Prior to Perry Capital, he worked for Goldman Sachs & Co. in their Investment Banking Division.
Additionally, Seth serves on the Victory Campaign Board of the Victory Fund, a national group of community leaders dedicated to electing more openly LGBT candidates to public office. Formerly, he served on Manhattan Community Board 4 which represents Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen, where he sat on the Preservation and Planning Committee and Housing, Health, and Human Services Committee. Seth received the Jim Owles Human Rights Award for his human rights work and the Innovation Award from the Victory Fund for his marriage equality work.
JOHN SCOTT JOHNSON
John Scott Johnson serves as Vice President of Urban Standard Capital and is in charge of all development activities, including acquisitions, design, financing and marketing.
Prior to Urban Standard Capital, John Scott worked at BFC Partners where he managed:
• Essex Crossing in the Lower East Side, specifically Site 5, a 211-unit, 50% affordable rental project with 67,000 sf of retail as well as a 15,000 sf public open space;
• 475 Bay Street in Stapleton, Staten Island, a 214-unit mixed income rental building with 9,000 sf of retail space;
• Bedford Courts in Crown Heights, a 300+ unit mixed income rental and condo building that includes a recreational center, a community event space, and office space.
• Jupiter 21 in the East Village, a 65-unit mixed use building that includes 52 market-rate rentals, retail space and 11 affordable coop units in New York City’s first Inclusionary homeownership project.
Prior to joining BFC, John Scott was a Senior Project Manager at West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing from 2009 to 2012 where he managed a $45 million portfolio of affordable real estate development projects, including The Claremont (115 units of affordable rental and supportive housing) and Borinquen Court (145 unit of affordable senior rental housing).
John Scott also worked as a Project Manager for Clinton Housing Development Company from 2005 to 2009 where he oversaw rehab and new development projects from design and financing through lease-up, including 500 West 42nd Street, 501 West 51st Street and 403 West 43rd Street in Manhattan.
Prior to CHDC, John Scott worked at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) in the Primary Prevention Program, Third Party Transfer Program and the Participation Loan Program.
John Scott has served on the board of directors of Rebuilding Together NYC, a nonprofit organization that provides repairs and modifications to low-income homes and nonprofit facilities, since 2005 and currently serves as Vice President. He also served until recently as a director of Housing Conservation Coordinators, a nonprofit legal services organization that seeks to preserve safe, decent and affordable housing on the west side of Manhattan. John Scott is also a director of the Saint & Streetfighter Foundation
Acquisitions & Originations
Benjamin Barasch is responsible for sourcing, negotiating and underwriting prospective deals.
Ben has a passion for real estate that began in childhood. His grandfather, a commercial developer, would take him around New York City to look at properties from a young age. Those early excursions inspired him to focus on a career in real estate. Since graduating from high school, Ben spent every summer working in real estate which inspired him to follow in his grandfather's footsteps. During college, Ben worked as an analyst at TLM Funds, a national distressed real estate fund, and at Goldman Sachs & Co. in their Investment Bank Division on the Real Estate, Lodging & Gaming group. Ben joined Seth at CityShares after graduating from college in 2014 and later joined the Urban Standard Development team at its inception in 2015.
At Urban Standard Capital, Ben focuses on site selection, acquisitions, underwriting and predevelopment work from a project's inception through closing. Ben sources deals both through the brokerage community and off-market through relationship building will building owners and community leaders. As a native New Yorker, Ben knows the intricacies of our neighborhoods and is attune to shifting market trends.
Ben earned his BA in history from Yale College. He was born and raised on the Upper West Side and currently resides in Greenwich Village. Ben is also a licensed Real Estate Salesperson in NY state and enjoys skiing, basketball, movies and reading.