Published on October 28th, 2017 |2
Selig Development president Scott Selig, 47, succumbs to cancer battle
Scott Selig, the 47-year-old young and charismatic president of Selig Development, the Development Division of prominent Atlanta real estate company Selig Enterprises Inc., died at 4 a.m. Friday 10/27 surrounded by his family.
Selig, who was battling cancer, was known for his defiance of the disease, inspiring an active social media following of thousands of friends, real estate colleagues and supporters over the past year under the Facebook campaign #ScottStrong.
“I’ve lost my son, my confidant, and a piece of my heart. In our business, Scott was a visionary. He could see things in the future. His leadership is irreplaceable,” Selig Enterprises Chairman and CEO Steve Selig said in an email to Bisnow.
President of the Selig Enterprises family dynasty, Scott was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer last year that spread to his liver and brain.
The announcement of his death was revealed by a family member on Facebook. “The family would like all of you to know that Scott Selig passed away peacefully in his sleep around 4 a.m. with his family surrounding him,” family member Amy Epstein Selig wrote.
With the family company for more than 17 years and despite his illness, Scott Selig embarked on new endeavors over the past year, including leading the 100 year-old Selig Enterprises’ expansion to mixed-use projects, such as the $400 million 1105 West Peachtree in Midtown and a $1 billion development along Chattahoochee Avenue in Northwest Atlanta.
Scott Selig had convinced his father Steve Selig to form the new Development Division and push Selig Enterprises beyond being an investor toward a stronger focus on development.
The elder Steve Selig told to Atlanta Business Chronicle last year how he eventually realized his son was right — the company should expand.
“When my dad was alive, I’d go in and have all these great ideas about things we ought to be doing here,” Steve Selig said referring to his own father, Simon. “My dad would look at me and say
‘Steve, I’m comfortable. I don’t need to do anymore. I don’t need to take any risk.’ And I’d find myself being my dad when Scott would come in and say the same thing to me. I would sort of feel ‘Why do I need to take this kind of risk?’”
Steve Selig’s dad and the dad of former Atlanta Mayor Sam Massell, present president of the Buckhead Coalition, were the first major Jewish real estate developers of commercial properties on the core downtown Atlanta area. They are family.
Last December, Scott Selig was named Realtor of the Year by the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors , a powerful industry group. Selig also was an active community leader, serving on the board of the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors, the Midtown Alliance, the Buckhead Community Improvement District, the Council For Quality Growth, the Buckhead Coalition, The Ron Clark Academy and the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta.
Earlier this year, the Atlanta Business Chronicle named Scott Selig one of 2017’s most admired CEOs.
In a question-and-answer article, Selig spoke about his fight against cancer. “Although there are good days and bad days no matter which I have kept positive and never shown weakness and kept my life as normal as I can. Every day you will find me at my desk in the office and still attending the many boards I have committed to,” he said. “As I like to say, I might die with cancer, but I will not die from it.”
He told Atlanta Business Chronicle how much he respected his father, saying “My favorite leader I admire is actually my father. A man that has earned the praise and respect from all facets of
the community and strives to makes his employees better and always at ease knowing their careers are not in jeopardy no matter what the economy is doing. He has taught the skills of being approachable while also commanding the respect of a well-versed CEO.”
Friday morning saw an outpouring of both grief and admiration for Selig on Facebook:
Selig colleague Malloy Peterson: “A devastating loss for this world. Scott was a ray of sunshine up until his last days. Prayers to the whole family. We will miss him dearly.”
From Atlanta developer Jim Borders: “Very sad day in Atlanta, Georgia. Scott loved his family and his friends – including the real estate community, which will not be the same without him. … My prayers are with the Selig family. I will miss Scott.”
Jim Langford, former director of The Trust for Public Land: “So sorry to hear of Scott’s passing. He was a smart, fun and high energy guy. I first met him during the early days of our Beltline tours and planning sessions. He was eager to engage with new ideas and eager to help.”
And around lunch time, Michael Paris, president and CEO of the Council for Quality Growth, sent out a statement about Selig, who was a long-time board member.
“Scott was truly a great leader, not only here at the Council where he was slated to be chairman in 2019, but in dozens of civic and philanthropic efforts,” Paris said. “His tireless activism will leave a huge void across our region … Much like his father Steve, Scott truly embodied his family’s motto, ‘You can never do wrong by doing right.'”
Scott’s family includes his sons, Cooper and Sam, and their mother, Amy Selig; his parents, Steve and Linda Selig and Janet Selig and Jeff Bernstein; siblings Mindy and Dave Shoulberg, Blake and Stephanie Selig, Michael Shenk, Stacey and David Fisher, Mara and Justin Berman, and Bret Bernstein; nieces and nephews Carly, Jordan, Casey, McKenzie, Ansley, Parker, Zachary, Alison, Lindsay, Molly, Aaron, Justin, Ella, Avery, Davis, Max and Parker; and special friend Samantha Wexler.
Sign the online guestbook at www.edressler.com. Memorial contributions to The Scott Selig Scholarship Fund at the Ron Clark Academy would be appreciated. Services at The Temple, 1589 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30309, on Sunday, Oct. 29, at 2 p.m. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.
A Personal Note
I knew Scott Selig for many years while covering Atlanta and Buckhead for several publications. I was never a part of his inner circle of friends. Ours was more of a professional relationship. But Scott was always the type of person who made me feel like a friend, and I certainly considered him to be a friend.
I covered his work over the years in many forums—meetings of the Buckhead Community Improvement District, Northwest Community Alliance, Neighborhood Planning Unit Zoning Committee meetings, etc.—as well as joining with him at groundbreakings, openings and other business and social events. He never failed to flash me a smile, shake my hand and offer a witty greeting. Yes, I think he was a friend…not only to me but to thousands of people he touched.
Buckhead and Atlanta has lost one of the young, charismatic community leaders who was destined to make a big difference in the community, and do it with a true sense of balance in his life, now cut far too short.
God be with you and smile upon you and your family, Scott Selig, my friend. –John Schaffner