How One of Philly’s Coolest Developers Spends His Day
David Grasso has his hands in some of Philly’s coolest projects. The founder and CEO of commercial development firm Grasso Holdings, Grasso is a partner 12 different companies (including Fishtown eatery Wm. Mulherin’s Sons; coworking space Pipeline Philly; and ROOST Apartment Hotel). And he knows a thing or two about good design (have you seen the gorgeous interiors of ROOST?), luxe toys (see: His Tesla) and keeping sane during crazy-busy days (he gets 550 emails a week).
We got Grasso to dish on his favorite people, places and things in the city, from where he gets his hair cut to his impressive (18 and counting!) guitar collection — with a dose of adorable thrown in, courtesy of his rescue pup, Rocky.
“I like to ease into the day. My early-morning ritual begins with 10 to 15 minutes of meditation. Then I relax on my terrace and read the paper with a cappuccino or caffè latte that I make with my espresso machine.
“At this moment I have five pets that I’ve either adopted from shelters or found on the street, homeless. The latest addition is a four-month-old pit/Lab mix. We adopted him from the Animal Care & Control Team of Philadelphia. I couldn’t resist!
“I love rich wood floors in a home, especially ones that look worn and feel good on bare feet. For my new home in Northern Liberties, I used the same floors we used in one of my ROOST Apartment Hotel projects. It’s an oiled white oak plank floor that I had installed in a herringbone pattern.
“I’ve been going to American Mortals for more than 10 years now. [Stylist] Anthony Gibilisco is the man.
“I love to sit at the bar at Vernick Food & Drink. I literally have had dreams about eating the crab toast and the striped jack crudo. Nothing is mediocre at that place. I’ve been an avid guitar player for most of my life and have compiled a collection of vintage, and some not-so-vintage, guitars by Gibson, Kramer, Ibanez, Fender. I have some that were custom-built as well.
“Since my most recent trip to Italy, I’ve become obsessed with Italian coffee. I get my espresso ground, since that can be tricky at home. I love the Napoli blend at Gran Caffè L’Aquila. I make a special trip there every week.
“I switch between strength training and cardio at the Sporting Club at the Bellevue and yoga at Amrita Yoga and Wellness in Fishtown. I try to find a way to fit into one of Heather Rice’s packed classes at Amrita. I always leave there feeling better than I did when I arrived.
“I love my Tesla Model S P90D. It’s like an iPhone with wheels. A really, really fast one!”
Published as “A Day in the Life” in the October 2016 issue of Philadelphia magazine.