5 questions for Paul Picarazzi
Paul Picarazzi co-founded Charlotte-based Vision Ventures in 1998 as a commercial real-estate company specializing in acquisition, asset management, brokerage, construction and development. Paul oversees all aspects of company operations and is also involved in construction management as president of Vision Ventures Construction Services Inc.
Some of the most visible redevelopment projects in Charlotte were completed by Paul and his business partner, Doug Stephan, including the new dual-branded AC Hotel and Residence Inn in downtown Charlotte. It sits adjacent to the EpiCentre, the entertainment venue that Vision Ventures purchased in 2010, redeveloped and sold in 2014. The project was a joint venture with Florida-based McKibbon Hospitality. Picarazzi also is involved in Ballantyne Village, the Rosewood Condominium Complex, the Tremont development and the 2100 Tryon mixed-use project in South End.
When he isn’t transforming the Charlotte skyline, Picarazzi enjoys traveling with his family. His wide-ranging hobbies include painting, weight training, fishing and driving exotic cars. Read on to get to know more about Paul Picarazzi.
What do you like best about your job?
I enjoy what I do so much that it’s difficult for me to say what I like best. I guess it is having a vision, seeing something that maybe others don’t see or think of, and then realizing that vision. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to work on challenging projects and equally fortunate to have the ability to assemble talented teams. There is a great feeling that comes from knowing you have put together the right team and have given a project the greatest chance of success. I also find that helping others find success is rewarding and something I look forward to on each of our projects.
What inspires you?
My family always has and continues to inspire me. I am blessed to be surrounded by so many great people, each teaching me invaluable life lessons. I am the first generation in my family to be born in the U.S., and have witnessed the sacrifices made by those before me. These are the hardest-working people on the planet, and they work all for the benefit of others. They have taught me great work ethic but also balance. My belief is that true success is measured at home and not in the office.
Who should we pay attention to?
We should pay attention to the people we surround ourselves with and understand that you can learn from people who are doing things the right way, regardless of who they are and what role they play in your life. We can all learn to do great things from great people.
What was your biggest challenge this week?
Working with our team to secure a certificate of occupancy on our new mixed-use project, the AC Hotel and Residence Inn Charlotte City Center. It includes the dual-branded hotels, the 184-room AC and the 116-room Residence Inn, constructed in the air rights of an existing structure with a separate rooftop suite and lounge as well as ground-floor retail. This was one of the most challenging and complex development projects that Charlotte has seen to date. The finished product is the result of an incredible effort from every single person on our talented and tireless team.
What is your favorite N.C. vacation spot?
Whether with family, friends or both, Asheville is a wonderful place to spend time any season of the year. Downtown Asheville has a feel that is hard to describe or duplicate. The beautiful mountain views make a perfect backdrop for the historic landmarks. The architecture, both old and new, is inspirational. The art scene and venues are certainly a highlight, along with shopping the independent boutique shops. The craft breweries and level of food quality is superb. Downtown is a great hub where you are only a short trip to hiking, enjoying the waterfalls or fly fishing in the French Broad River.