By Robin Hodes
Let me tell you about a man who has done some pretty amazing things. There will be a big surprise at the end.
He has been part of revolutionizing the shooting industry. He is building the most awe-inspiring development the city of Pompano Beach. He is at the helm of a master-planned, 26 acre community coming to Plantation in 2015. He is the co-founder and owner of one of the most advanced personal training centers coming to Pompano Beach and Ft. Lauderdale in 2015. He has a heart so big that he’s co- founded an incredible facility for special needs children along with his best friend and business partner Michael Hsiao and his wife Katherine Hsiao. He is the CEO and founder of Invesca Development Group, just named one of the best businesses by the city of Pompano Beach, Florida.
And he just celebrated his 30th birthday.
Please allow me to introduce Christopher Longsworth.
The Plantation resident is as humble as can be despite his noteworthy accomplishments. “At end of day I love what I do. It’s not about monetary gain or status. I feel very blessed and privileged to be where I’m at,” says the dynamo. Nexus shooting LLC in Davie is the flagship of what is soon to have 5 additional locations within the next three years. The reasons it is different than any other range in the industry are numerous.
It’s the first range open to the general public in the world where you can shoot live ammo at a video screen, where usually, you just shoot at paper targets in a less than comfortable environment. “This is a huge advancement, the largest since the invention of the gun with regard to the recreational shooting and sport shooting industry,” Longsworth says. Here at Nexus, you are able to shoot virtual video targets with your real gun and real ammo, where before, it had only been done with lasers. “Nexus brings the shooting industry to a whole new level,” he states. The target screen is made of self-healing rubber. “This proprietary technology exists nowhere else. We’ve added 3D sounds, zombies you can shoot at…it’s just getting better and better. It’s not like being in a movie, or playing a video game. It’s a closer to and interactive computerized shooting experience,” explains Longsworth. Nexus draws customers in throngs. People flock there for anything having to do with the firearm industry, from purchasing in their expansive, digitally-advanced retail section that looks closer to an Apple store than a gun store, to education through self-defense, from skilled shooters wanting to gain extra practice with custom training to the immensely popular Ladies’ Night every Monday. “We’re very big on educating people to be responsible owners, rather than selling them firearms without the supporting education that leads to responsible ownership.” Besides fun and education, visitors to Nexus will also find exceptional customer service from a friendly, “Disney-like” staff, a record setting level of cleanliness, and ultimate ratings in air quality, lead control, and safety. “We’re the safest range around.” We have many protocols in place, with range officers in every bay to support each and every shooter.” And forget about that uncomfortable feeling you’ll find at other ranges, that unsettling firing sound from a gun. “We have the finest sound abatement there is. You will never hear a gunshot in our retail center. And even more so than in other ranges, you’ll hear much less sound reverberation while shooting than you’d expect. It’s one of the most common compliments we get,” he says. Nexus is simply the finest shooting experience there is. “It’s just a professional, modern approach where there was a lack of before,” says Longsworth. “Nexus is an answer to all these gaping holes in the industry.”
Further north in Pompano Beach, Longsworth’s next astounding project is on the rise. Koi Residences and Marina is one of the most unique properties in Broward County. It’s a 10-acre, nautical community, with ocean access and accommodations for boats up to 35 feet. “Our 26 slip marina is the centerpiece of the community,” says Longsworth. Additionally, it has a naturalistic feel due to the fact that all the large trees have been saved. “The mangroves preserve give it class and elegance with an environmentally responsible feel,” says Longsworth. Choices for residents include villas on the water, lofts with 14 ft. ceilings, and ultra-contemporary, hi-rise condos, all at an attractive price point. Other fine features include an infinity pool and spa, which both overlook the marina. A cyber café, billiard room, bar and lounge in the community center are all part of the amenities. There are fitness stations along the nature path, a dog park, multiple pavilions for picnicking, and even beach volleyball. Lastly, a sumptuous rooftop restaurant, 120 feet in the air with views of the ocean and entire skyline, is in the planning stages. Longsworth gives kudos to the city of Pompano for the upgrades they are making. “The city has been supportive and has invested in a world-class cultural arts center literally steps away from Koi, plus a plaza with high-end boutiques and 5-star restaurant,” Longsworth enumerates, adding that Pompano Beach has become one of the most beautiful in Broward county. Though still in the approvals process, Longsworth’s next real estate endeavor is a 26-acre, master-planned community, one of the largest of its kind in the city of Plantations’ history. For him, the highlight will be his second “Super School” (the first is already fully operational in Davie.) It’s a school to help severely disabled children, with physical therapy, sensory classes, and a means of putting an expensive medication regimen in reach to those who otherwise could not afford it. Of all of Longsworth’s projects, it’s the closest to his heart. His Super school co- founders, Mike and Katherine Hsiao, have a son named Kael who suffers a rare form of epilepsy called dravet syndrome, which causes him to experience up to 20+ seizures a day. “This has been on ongoing battle since Kael was diagnosed,” says Longsworth. “It was time for someone to step up and support the community.” Touchingly, the 4 story villas at Koi Residences will be named after Kael.
You must be wondering…how does Longsworth do it all? “I have a very good team, and we’re only as good as the people behind us,” he says. Besides a support staff that organizes his impossibly busy schedule, he credits his mother, a commercial banker (and a “tough cookie”), and his best friend and business partner Michael Hsiao for the guidance and support over the years. Longsworth attributes his calm demeanor to daily morning workouts (though not at Impression Fitness, the state of the art gym he owns and also will build at Koi, but at a place where he can do “more exercising and less socializing.”) If a gun were held to his head (no Nexus pun intended) and he had to pick one thing, it would be real estate development. “I love to envision, then be part of creating. I can visualize an end result that the world will see…it’s an exhilarating feeling.” Longsworth is living his dream and is thankful for it. “It’s very surreal and has been a long journey, countless 100+ hour work weeks along with many sleepless nights, but I’m very blessed, and I wouldn’t change a thing.” stb
For more info please visit www.invescadev.com