Larry Silvestri founded Silvestri Law, a commercial real estate law firm, in 2015. He specializes in retail and shopping centers, but works in pretty much all asset types. He has represented many local businesses in St. Pete in their leases, including the new CellarMasters Wine Bar and Bottle Shop in the Edge District, The Spice & Tea Exchange at the Sundial, Smile & Cream coming to the new Artistry apartment building in Grand Central, and several clients in the Skyway Marina District.
Years in St. Pete
I’ve lived in St. Pete for four years, but I’ve been visiting since 5th grade.
Organizations involved in
I’m a St. Pete Chamber of Commerce ambassador, a volunteer attorney at the Community Law Program Housing Clinic, on the membership committee of the Urban Land Institute’s Tampa Bay chapter and I’m on the developers’ committee of the St. Pete Downtown Partnership, and a few more related to my law practice.
What gets you out of bed every day?
I’m a people person and in my law practice, a problem solver. I look forward to interacting with people, both on a professional and personal level. That’s what recharges my batteries and helps me get up in the morning.
Why St. Pete?
I love St. Pete. My first memories of St. Pete are flying from Detroit, alone, to visit my grandma for the holidays when I was in 5th grade. My father also retired to St. Pete, so as my son and daughter were growing up we would visit their grandpa and while she was alive, great-grandma. So I have many fond memories of St. Pete. But what really brought my wife and I to St. Pete was the combination of our son Paul planting himself here after attending Stetson Law School and the opportunity I saw in launching my commercial real estate transaction law practice at a time of unprecedented opportunity in St. Pete.
What is one habit that you keep?
I practice guided mindfulness meditation to help clear my head and focus, something I was introduced to when I was in law school.
Who are some people that influence you?
Currently I would say Murray Goodman of The Goodman Company, a visionary developer of early regional malls in the northeast and locally the developer behind the Shoppes at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel. I worked with him for 16 years. He’s now in his early 90s and he’s still in the game making commercial real estate deals, something I aspire to do for a long time myself. From my youth, I’d say my grandmother, who emigrated from Italy at the age of 16, traveling alone to make a life for herself in America. Growing up, she always told me to work hard and get all the education you can, because that’s the one thing they can’t take away from you.
What is one piece of insight - a book, methodology, practice - that you would share with our readers?
From Earl Nightingale, considered the father of motivational speaking and the author of “The Strangest Secret.” Simply, “You become what you think about.”
What is one thing you wish you knew about your work 3 years ago?
The pandemic would shock and disrupt the commercial real estate world as it has this year. If I would have known that I could have been the one person on the planet prepared for the turmoil in landlord and tenant relationships, something that takes up a lot of my time these days.
There’s so many interesting things happening in commercial real estate in St. Pete and in Tampa. I look forward to continuing to be involved in the community, serving my clients by negotiating and documenting some of those interesting deals.