DHA Capital partners split as Josh Schuster goes solo

Silverback Development will target ground-up and adaptive reuse projects

Josh Schuster
Josh Schuster

One of investment firm DHA Capital’s two principals has jumped ship to start his own shop.

Josh Schuster has launched Silverback Development, which will focus on ground-up development and adaptive reuse opportunities in New York and other gateway markets. The company secured an initial $50-million capital investment from a high-net-worth individual as well as an unidentified institutional backer, Schuster said.

At DHA [TRData], Schuster worked on a series of residential projects, including 50 Clinton Street, 535 West 43rd Street, 12 East 13th Street and 75 Kenmare Street.

Dan Hollander, who was the senior partner and remains the managing principal at DHA, declined to comment on the split. Schuster, who had been at the company since 2011, said there was no bad blood between the two. He noted that he still has an equity stake in several of DHA’s projects.

“I had an opportunity here with a group of investors who wanted to seed a new platform. That’s what drove the decision,” he said.

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Sources close to the pair, including Maverick Capital Partners’ Adi Chugh, who brokered a $100.5 million construction loan for 75 Kenmare Street, said the men continue to work together. He will likely invest with both individually in the future, he said.

Schuster said Silverback has $1.3 billion in projects in his pipeline. The company is based out of 40 West 57th Street.

“In the next real estate market cycle, as banks become more hesitant to lend on projects that don’t benefit from a substantial equity investment, cash will be king,” he said. “Silverback’s strong financial backing puts us at a competitive advantage.”

He conceded that it might seem an odd time to start a new investment firm, given the current speculation of a dip in real estate values, but noted that it could work to his advantage.

“There are certain groups out there that have acquired land, maybe two or three years ago,” he said. “They have completed plans but now the capital markets have tightened and it’s much more difficult to find a construction loan. We are finding that a lot of our deals are being sourced through other developers, who are looking for a partner that’s financeable and has the balance sheet and track record.”

Other young developers who’ve recently struck out on their own include Victor Siguora and Drew Popkin, who left the Naftali Group in June to form Highpoint Property Group.