Stratus Development Group
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Industry: Commercial Real Estate
Jeff Koon got his entrepreneurial start as a kid selling mistletoe and painted doorsteps to neighbors and friends. In high school, he launched a humor website that turned into two books and a board game.
While a student at the University of Georgia, he focused his studies on business and after graduation took a job with a small real estate firm to learn the ropes of the industry from the ground up, selling starter homes and student condominiums. At the same time, he started buying rental properties and refurbishing them.
In 2012, Koon founded Stratus Property Group, a boutique commercial real estate firm based in Atlanta. “We focus on development, management and brokerage of investment properties in Georgia and recently throughout the Southeast,” Koon said. “We represent a variety of private investors, developers, builders and private equity funds. Through the years, I’ve accumulated a long list of clients who include high-net-worth investors, private equity funds, family trusts, estates, retailers, builders, developers and financial institutions.”
To date, the value of the projects the company has brokered, developed or provided consultation to total more than $350 million. That success has allowed the business to expand into other companies, including Stratus Development Group, which develops multifamily and student housing developments throughout the Southeast.
“Our vision is to change communities for the better by transforming long-vacant lots, blighted areas or parcels impacted by environmental issues into productive communities that mesh well with the fabric of the surrounding areas,” Koon said. “We’ll continue to grow both Stratus Property Group and Development Group by expanding our territory throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.”
Stratus leans into community history and giving back. At its upscale residential community in Athens, Puritan Mill, the company restored the mill water tower and the original mill pond with its famous waterfall. The community is named after the mill that was on site until it was destroyed by fire. “Keeping those elements in our communities are important to us and combine history and nature to the development,” Koon said.
“We want to work on good projects with good clients and good investments so that we keep enjoying what we do. We want to participate in the right projects, not the most projects, and the success of our previous work is a testament to this mindset. We want to keep pushing the envelope and being innovative while still doing things responsibly. There’s a lot more to success than dollars and cents.”
Koon is active in the Atlanta Commercial Board, CCIM, and has led global mission trips through Peachtree Road UMC. He leads a men’s group through Trinity Community Ministries in Buckhead.
I co-authored "You May Not Tie an Alligator to a Fire Hydrant" at age seventeen while I was a senior in high school in 2002 after starting a website visited by thousands of browsers every month.