The Ponte Vedra Recorder - Page 6

6 One of Us Ponte Vedra Recorder · October 29, 2015 Where are you from originally? I’m originally from Charlottesville, Virginia, and I ended up down here because I attended Flagler College. I moved back to Jacksonville a long time ago after college. I was with a corporation, MCI, for 13 years and then I started a company in Atlanta called the Condo Store. I sold that after seven years and opened up Lifestyles here. I just recently moved back and started the Condo Group. Your online bio calls Jacksonville your true home? It’s always been my home. In my heart, it’s my home. I got back from Charlottesville and I couldn’t wait to get back to warm weather. I’ve always considered this home. My mother lived here for a long time and was a member of the Ponte Vedra Club. It’s just natural. All my friends are here. This has always been my hub, I guess. What is your role at The Condo Group? I’m the principal of the Condo Group. I have Kathy Browning who is my vice president and principal. I’m the sales leg and she’s the marketing leg. We manage everything from concept to closing – from when they have the idea and they’re looking at the land to the closing. We look at finish levels. We help with crown molding, granite, condo docks, sales and marketing materials, inventory control – every aspect of the condominium offering, we are involved in it. It’s extremely processoriented. What’s different about this from your past businesses? My other company was huge; Lifestyles was 450 people in 11 cities over five states. I had speech writers – I had all that stuff – and I don’t want that this time. I want to get involved in every project and I don’t want to leave North Florida. I want to do a great job here and be well-known for doing a great job here in Florida. Tell me about this project, The Palazzo on St. Johns. This was a takeover from another company not from Jacksonville. Michael W. Bugg is the founder and principal of The Condo Group in Jacksonville Beach – but his history with real estate is much longer and more storied than that. Bugg founded The Condo Store and Piedmont Brokers in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1993. The company was the first of its kind specializing in resale as well as new home sales, and quickly became a driving force in the burgeoning condominium market in Atlanta. Bugg returned to Jacksonville in 2001 to open Lifestyles Realtors. A Flagler graduate, Bugg has been very involved in The Flagler Alumni Association and has contributed to an annual Student Scholarship for students recognized for their outstanding “Entrepreneurial Studies.” He is also involved in Doctors Without Borders, First Start for Women and a member of St. Mark’s Methodist Church. — Kelly H. McDermott The Recorder Does it make a difference being based in Jacksonville? Absolutely. We’re very different – we’re a small town. Large companies come in and they throw in things that really are not our town. The community involvement is essential here – that’s how the word gets out. They just didn’t know Jacksonville and they weren’t getting traffic. What do you like to do for fun? I love architecture. I love remodeling houses and building houses. Real estate has always been an enormous joy. It’s not even work to me. I like design and architecture. I love taking an ugly duckling and making it beautiful. I walk a lot and I’m running again – but I don’t have tons of interests other than my work!