Residents and passers-by in Atlanta may not know the name Scott Selig, but they see his fingerprints as they travel across the counties that make up this metropolitan area of nearly 6 million.
The new town center being built in Sandy Springs? That’s Selig and Carter, the real estate development company.
Development going on in the gentrification of West Atlanta? Him again.
From offices and mixed-use projects in Midtown to mixed-use development in Middle Georgia, Selig’s work is changing how people work and live.
His other critical work was unseen, but felt by many. It included a leadership role helping students at Ron Clark Academy and work with Camp Twin Lakes, through the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta and other philanthropies and organizations.
Selig, 47, the executive vice president of Selig Enterprises and president of the recently launched Selig Development, an arm of the nearly 100-year-old family real estate company, died from cancer Friday.
“It’s a heartbreaking thing,” said friend and colleague Michael Paris of the Council for Quality Growth.
Selig served on the nonprofit agency’s board of directors. He grew up in Atlanta and graduated from the Westminster Schools before attending the University of Arizona. In 1995, Selig earned an MBA from the University of Georgia, Terry College of Business.
He worked for the family business, an Atlanta-grown institution that dates to 1918, when Selig’s ancestor Ben J. Massell bought a piece of property that grew into Selig Enterprises. Today, the company has a portfolio that contains about 10 million square feet of commercial real estate.
Selig had a knack for seeing through building booms and currently hot properties to find the next big thing. He formed Selig Development as a vehicle to cast the family business into the future.
Steve Baile, Selig Development’s chief development officer, said Scott Selig was a student of Atlanta.
“He knew what deal was next,” Baile said. “When people were looking at Peachtree Street he was looking at West Peachtree.
“I was driving past a piece of land with him one day and he said, ‘What do you think of that?’ ” And I said, ‘Maybe in 30 years,’ ” Baile said. “And he said, ‘That’s what I’m thinking.’
“He wasn’t thinking just about today, he was thinking over generations.”
Sam Massell, a cousin who is also president of the Buckhead Coalition and a former mayor of Atlanta, described Selig as a man who made others feel comfortable in conversation and as a learned student of local politics. Those are necessary qualities for success in business. Selig also served the Buckhead Coalition, an organization of about 100 business leaders, and they depended on Selig to keep up with and advise them on the technicalities of what was going on in the city.
“He was a good lobbyist and knew how to work within the system to make progress,” Massell said.
Selig is survived by sons Cooper and Sam and their mother Amy Selig; his father Steve Selig and stepmother Linda Selig; and mother Janet Selig and stepfather Jeff Bernstein; siblings Mindy and Dave Shoulberg, Blake and Stephanie Selig, Michael Shenk, Stacey and David Fisher; Mara and Justin Berman; and Bret Bernstein and other family.
Services will be held at The Temple. 1589 Peachtree St. NE in Atlanta on Sunday at 2 p.m.
Memorial Contributions can be made to The Scott Selig Scholarship Fund at the Ron Clark Academy.