Architect and developer Russell Katz is the Managing Director of MOMIDC, a real estate firm focused on the design, development, ownership and management of environmentally conscious properties in the Washington, DC region.
Russell is driven by the belief that environmentally sustainable, beautifully designed projects can be financially successful. He guides MOMIDC's selective project choices and oversees the operation of the firm's portfolio, which currently includes 350,000 square feet of multifamily residential, retail and office space, as well as 185 acres of conserved woodlands.
Russell's multifaceted background is unified by a lifelong passion for the built environment. Growing up in Washington, DC, he held early jobs in construction and design. He obtained a Bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia's School of Architecture and a Master's Degree in Architecture from Yale University, subsequently working in the offices of Hans Hollein Atelier in Austria, Turner Brooks Architects in Connecticut and Deamer + Phillips Architects in New York. Throughout his studies and work, Russell's deepest motivation has been simple - to create and preserve beauty and value.
In 1998, Russell saw a unique opportunity to take part in his hometown's urban revitalization. He returned to Washington and founded MOMIDC with the purchase and renovation of two neglected apartment buildings in DC neighborhoods near Metro stations-- Elm Gardens in Takoma and The Sheldon in East Dupont.
Elevation 314 was completed in 2004. This environmentally friendly mixed-use building directly opposite Takoma's Metro station represented an evolution. Acting as design architect and developer, Russell combined high quality design, green building and good business to transform a decades-vacant lot into a state of the art structure. This 68,000 sf project's sustainable features include the first green roof bioretention system approved in DC and a highly efficient geothermal heating and cooling system. Elevation 314 has received local and national recognition, including features on MSNBC and in the Washington Post, as well as awards from NAHB, AIA DC, and the American Society of Landscape Architects.
In early 2008, Russell began work on the renovation of Franklin Apartments, a 185-unit Section 8 apartment building serving the elderly and disabled in Takoma Park. Completed in early 2011 and partially funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, this ambitious and complicated project transformed a fully occupied 50's era building into an energy-efficient example of best practices in sustainability and design.
Russell derives great pleasure in engaging every aspect of a project's life, from conception through execution and management. In 2007, the Urban Land Institute featured Russell's business as a case study in the textbook: Real Estate Development: Principles and Process (4th edition). In addition to his work at MOMIDC, Russell has served on the Board of Advisors to the Dean of the University of Virginia's School of Architecture and on the Board of Trustees for the Washington International School.