Donald Capoccia is the managing principal and founder of BFC Partners, a real estate development company that has been involved in the planning, development and construction of some 3000 units of housing in New York City with a combined value of $2.5B. His projects also include approximately 200,000SF of neighborhood retail and community facility uses. Don began his development and construction activities in New York City in 1982, just prior to the completion of a Masters Degree Program in Urban Planning at Hunter College, and after completing a BA in Urban Studies from the University of Buffalo in 1979.
Don and BFC have focused predominately on the production of affordable housing, investing in a concentrated geographic strategy that has helped spur the resurgence of key New York City neighborhoods; the East Village, East Harlem, Williamsburg and Downtown Brooklyn. In each of these neighborhoods, Don planned the use of governmental programs in tandem with rising market interest to develop and build thousands of middle-income condominiums and cooperatives in close proximity to a significant number of mixed-income BFC rental projects. Don has pioneered the production, and promoted the importance of affordable home ownership opportunities to these neighborhoods in particular, and the City of New York in general, and in doing so has shown the strong connection between the retention of an employee base and the availability of affordable housing.
In addition to his work as an active NYC builder, Don has had substantial involvement with the arts, architecture and urban planning issues as they impact New York City, New York State and Washington, DC.
President George W. Bush appointed Don as a Member of the US Commission of Fine Arts in July 2001, where he served as Vice Chairman of The Commission of Fine Arts until February 2004. The Commission of Fine Arts was established by Congress in 1910 as an independent agency to advise the Federal and District of Columbia governments on matters of art and architecture that affect the appearance of the nation's capital. The Commission's primary role is to advise on proposed public building projects, including public buildings and grounds of major importance, and projects in the Historic District of Georgetown.
Don has recently been appointed by Governor George E. Pataki to the Board of Directors of the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corp (GIPEC). GIPEC was established by the City and State of New York to plan for the re-use and development of Governors Island, a 162-acre, former Coast Guard facility located in the New York Harbor.
Don also serves as a Member of the New York State Council on the Arts. He was appointed by Governor George Pataki in 1998. The Council reviews and approves funding requests from cultural organizations across NYS, including museums, symphony orchestras, dance companies, theatres and libraries. Don's personal focus as a Council Member has involved the impact of arts funding on the economic health and development of emerging neighborhoods and distressed urban communities.
Until recently, Don was a member of the Board of Directors of the United Nations Development Corp., a joint NYC/NYS public benefit corporation with responsibly in assisting the United Nations community in the management of, and planning for office space, hotel accommodations, appropriate housing and other essential facilities located in close proximity to the UN headquarters.
Don is also involved in numerous industry related organizations. He is co-founder and Vice President of the New York State Association for Affordable Housing, a trade organization representing the interest of for-profit builders of Affordable Housing across NYS. Don currently serves as a Director of the Real Estate Board of New York, the Rent Stabilization Board, and the Associated Builders and Owners of Greater New York. He also serves on the Board of Directors of amfAR (American Foundation of Aids Research), The Public Policy Committee of the Lincoln Center, Inc. Board of Directors, The National Building Museum and LaMama Experimental Theatre, Inc, a NYC based, world renowned, cultural organization that produces and presents original performance work by artists of all nations and cultures. Don has been a committed and long standing supporter of a number of non-profit, national and NYC based organizations which focus on issues ranging from Affordable Housing production policy, to HIV-AIDS research to arts and their impact on NYC.