Dan Bellows is someone who can see a diamond in the rough. There are many construction companies out there that focus on the renovation and new construction of a home or building. Yet, there are very few who focus on renovating and restoring a portion of his home town.
This is exactly what Dan Bellows of Winter Park, Florida did. The project was a large undertaking that generated a great amount of criticism. Dan Bellows stayed true to his conviction that restoring Hannibal Square in Winter Park would be beneficial for everyone — the citizens, his employees, the companies that support the construction and even the state of Florida. It was a task that involved more than just cleaning up a park or holding fundraisers.
Dan Bellows and his team at Sydgan stepped up to the plate by tearing down buildings that were dangerous and eyesores as well as helped revitalize the retail and restaurant scene in Hannibal Square. Before the renovations, Hannibal Square was becoming a blight on Winter Park with a bar in which the tables had to be nailed to the floor and housing that had structural damage. Dan Bellows wanted more for his community — a community he knows very well since he grew up in Winter Park. He has been slowly renovating tracts of land for over 30 years!
For example, he has built 11 new buildings on the west side of Winter Park as well as developed a signature business district called Ravaudage, a mixed-use development that includes a new Hilton Garden Inn Hotel and a Marriott Spring Hill Suites Hotel. When one visits Winter Park today, he or she will understand the importance of ensuring Winter Park is a sustainable community. However, Dan Bellows is not only concerned with renovating or building over Winter Park; he is also passionate about preserving its history as well.
This is evident in his work with Grant Chapel (now Chapel & Hudson’s Cellar) and with Traditional Neighborhood, Inc. This not-for-profit organization is committed to helping Hannibal Square to be restored as a symbol of hope by giving its youth the tools they need to build a bigger and better community for future generations to enjoy. Follow Dan Bellows on Twitter!
Our Interview With Dan Bellows
What’s the most important thing we should know about you?
Dan Bellows: Determined and persistent.
Name the most impactful lesson you learned from failure.
Dan Bellows: Save $$$ for a rainy day. You never know when the market may change and or opportunity will knock.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Dan Bellows: My Children, they are doing very well in life and seem to be well adjusted and starting families of there own.
What did you waste the most time on when you were first starting your career?
Dan Bellows: Small picture business ideas that even if successful would not have created the revenue commiserate for the time put in.
Name a tool you use for work that you can’t live without.
Dan Bellows: A scanner.
What is your favorite hobby and why?
Dan Bellows: Boating, love being on the water.
What excited you the most about your industry right now?
Dan Bellows: Making a positive visual impact in my community for redeveloping failed or blighted real estate projects.
What’s the greatest risk you’ve ever taken?
Dan Bellows: Borrowed a lot of money to buy up large chunks of real estate.
Name one small habit that positively impacts your productivity.
Dan Bellows: Get up early.
What tips do you have for getting a seat at the table?
Dan Bellows: Never give up trying to get to the seat.
What book has made the biggest impact on your life?
Dan Bellows: Fortunes Children
Do you value intelligence or common sense more? Why?
Dan Bellows: Common sense, in my business good common sense has seemed to get the job done over someone who has none but a good intellect.
What would you consider to be the perfect day?
Dan Bellows: Get up early, get a few deals done and have a nice dinner with my wife.