John J. Prost - Founder
John Prost was a high school teacher at Kimball High School in Royal Oak. He decided to invest in real estate and searched the Royal Oak area. He fell in love with Virginia Avenue which was a quiet street, lined with mature trees and walking distance from downtown Royal Oak. He began buying apartment buildings in the mid 70's with his first building, a 4-unit apartment on Virginia Avenue. He then bought two other properties on Virginia Avenue after that. This was how we came up with the name Virginia Avenue Apartments. Over the years he acquired other properties in the Royal Oak and Ferndale area . He always had the mindset of putting most of the money back in the properties. This way we increase the property value while at the same time attracting a better quality of tenant. Another area Mr. Prost excelled was technology. Seeing as most of our tenants were new to the area he would give the tenant a free GPS when moving in. This was back in the late 80's before they were included with every mobile phone in America. He also made sure all mulit-unit properties had wireless internet wherever they were on the property.
Brian E. Prost - President
Brian grew up in Warren, Michigan and has been helping his father with the apartments since he was a young boy. To this day he has fond memories of being six years old and raking the fallen leaves in front of the homes. Over supper or on father-son outings, John would teach Brian everything there was to know about the family business. His biggest piece of advice for the younger Prost? “Always remember that every tenant is your boss.” Brian noticed his father consistently responded to tenants in a timely manner, making sure their needs were taken care of as expediently as possible. At an early age, Brian embraced this same philosophy and would even use it to begin his own career and family on the west coast.
After school, Brian became a money manager, accepting a position with Merrill Lynch in Beverly Hills, California. After becoming Vice-President of Investments, Brian wrapped up his 25-year career by working with Peter Schiff and Euro Pacific Capital in Newport Beach, California. When his father passed away in September of 2013, Brian moved his family to Oakland County, Michigan to manage the business full time. Brian now lives with his wife Julie, and two boys, Brian Jr. and Nicholas. The youngest Prosts love exploring Michigan, spending time at Mackinac Island, and falling in love with the beautiful neighborhoods their father and grandfather enjoyed so much. His boys also love to write code for computer games and learn about robotics.
Today, Brian employs the same exceptional quality of care his father provided to each and every tenant since acquiring that first 4-unit apartment on Virginia Avenue. As for the rest of the Prost family, 40 years of excellence is only the beginning of a remarkable journey that combines a love of family and community.