There’s nothing like a recession, especially this last one, to teach a veteran real estate executive like Bob Peterson that life is full of curve balls. Peterson, CEO of the Carter commercial real estate firm, has been in the business for nearly four decades. But when the Great Recession hit, Atlanta-based Carter’s annual revenue headed south, from more than $40 million to about half that much.
Peterson, 61, ended up selling two of Carter’s four business operations in 2011 to focus on real estate investing and developing. The privately held company, with $15 million in revenue now, is investing in commercial properties, such as data centers and health care facilities, and developing a range of projects, from mixed-use urban centers to apartments and student housing.
During the housing crisis, Carter stumbled when it bought 271 foreclosed homes in a depressed area of southwest Atlanta. After paying dirt cheap prices for the houses, the company hoped to resell