For a real estate project to reach the peak potential, it requires the right combination of vision, timing, economics, nuance and history. It also needs to adopt a balanced approach that accounts for the realities of the market, a sense of the needs of the community and an understanding of how to maximize the return through careful planning and meticulous management. And, most importantly, it needs a principal or partner who can bring all of those elements to the project. 

Our extensive expertise and specific approach to real estate projects help us see the untapped potential of a property and assemble the right people, at the right time, to turn that vision into a fully-realized project that creates ideal outcomes for everyone involved.

Our Partners

John Barkett

Managing partner

John Barkett has a three-decade career specialized in commercial real estate development, with the past 20 years in the Tampa Bay area. His keen eye for development stems from his highly analytical mindset combined with his local market knowledge of land development codes, zoning, processes and key players, giving the Ascension team an influential advantage in this area. John’s business acumen is counterbalanced by his civic responsibility as an active community leader, where he is committed to local organizations shaping Tampa Bay’s economic future.

John holds an M.S. in Real Estate Valuation and Analysis from New York University and is a Member of the Appraisal Institute (MAI). His career began as a commercial appraiser in New York City, where he first honed his creative talents in vertical development due to the scarcity of available vacant land—a skill he puts to good use today in Tampa Bay’s emerging real estate development market.

At the turn of the century, John moved his business to St. Petersburg, expanding his appraisal services to include real estate brokerage and development services, while growing his team to more than 20 real estate professionals. His passion for adaptive reuse led to his success in leveraging, brokering and curating key districts in St. Petersburg including the EDGE District and the MLK Business District, the latter being the largest geographical business district in the City, where John currently serves on the Board.

John continues to find ways to improve the flow and function between the districts with the addition of public park areas and the integration of the arts, from his integral role in securing the land and funds for the new park under I-375 to his support for the St. Pete Shine Festival with the donation of his building walls for artists’ murals. These interests are culminating for John, exemplified in the Trail’s Crossing project, which is a linear cultural park proposed for Under I-275 that will safely funnel pedestrians across major thoroughfares to the Pinellas Trail and beyond while providing a safe, shaded and landscaped park like environment that plays on St. Petersburg’s vibrant arts community. 

John is an active member of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, currently serving as Chair for the Housing, Land Use, Development and Transportation Committee, a voting member for Public Policy and a voting member of the Board of Governors.

Gordon Crozier

managing partner

Gordon Crozier has over 30 years of executive level real estate experience and is well versed in all phases of real estate development from site evaluation to asset disposition. Prior to joining Ascension, Gordon was the Director of Investments for the Allen Morris Company where he helped resurrect the company’s development operations, acquiring land and developing over 500 Condominium units, over 1,400 Multi-Family Units, over 230,000 square feet of Class A Office space and over 100,000 square feet of Retail space. He was responsible for securing and negotiating the company’s debt and equity financing agreements, financial reporting to Lenders and Investors, and Development and Operating Budget Management. During his tenure at AMCO, Gordon closed over $350 million in Bank Debt, $60 of Mezzanine Debt, $8.0 million of Preferred Equity, and over $95 million of LP Equity.

In addition to real estate development, Gordon has overseen and managed the real estate acquisition, development, build-out and operations of a start-up company in the Charter School industry, where he opened and/or acquired eighty-five schools in eight states, while raising over $200 million in Municipal Bond financing, over $120 million in bank debt, a $50 million Lease Facility and $85 million of Venture Capital Funding. Gordon was also responsible for the real estate operations of another start-up company in the retail flooring industry, where he financed and managed the opening of fifty-three stores in nine regions throughout the Southeast and Texas, negotiating and closing over $300 million retail leases, as well as raising the initial capital, bank debt and lease facilities for business operations.

Having been on all sides of real estate transactions, Gordon brings a well-rounded vision and skill set to each real estate opportunity. As a former Deloitte and Touche CPA, he is proficient at structuring and negotiating complex real estate transactions, while striving to achieve the simplest, most cost-effective solution for each unique situation. He has a proven track record of successfully negotiating and completing multi-year $100M+ projects. Gordon holds Bachelor’s Degrees in both Accounting and Finance from Florida Atlantic University and a Master of Science in Taxation from Florida International University.

Tim Butler


With a passion for real estate and a keen eye for lucrative opportunities, Tim Butler has established a remarkable career as a Land Acquisition Manager and Real Estate Investor. With a proven track record of successfully identifying, acquiring, and developing prime parcels of land, Tim Butler has become a respected figure in the real estate industry.

Professional Background: Tim Butler brings a wealth of experience to the table, having navigated the complexities of land acquisition and real estate investment for over [X] years. Throughout his career, Tim has demonstrated an exceptional ability to analyze market trends, assess property values, and negotiate favorable deals. He is known for his strategic approach to identifying undervalued properties and transforming them into profitable ventures.

Land Acquisition Expertise:
As a Land Acquisition Manager, Tim has successfully orchestrated numerous land transactions, ranging from residential and commercial developments to large-scale projects. He possesses a deep understanding of zoning regulations, environmental considerations, and legal intricacies, ensuring that every acquisition aligns with both the client's objectives and the broader community's needs.

Real Estate Investment Success: In addition to his role as a Land Acquisition Manager, Tim Butler is a savvy Real Estate Investor. He has built a diverse portfolio of properties, showcasing his ability to identify high-potential investments and execute successful strategies for wealth creation. Tim is adept at balancing risk and reward, consistently delivering impressive returns for his investors and partners.

Community Involvement:
Beyond the boardroom, Tim is committed to community development. He actively engages with local stakeholders, collaborates with municipal authorities, and contributes to the sustainable growth of the regions in which he operates. Tim understands the importance of responsible and ethical real estate practices, emphasizing the creation of vibrant, livable spaces.

Vision for the Future:
Looking ahead, Tim envisions further growth and success in both land acquisition and real estate investment. He remains dedicated to identifying innovative opportunities, fostering strategic partnerships, and contributing positively to the real estate industry's evolution.As a Land Acquisition Manager and Real Estate Investor, Tim Butler exemplifies the perfect blend of expertise, vision, and integrity in the dynamic world of real estate.

David Lantz


With a robust 24-year track record in international management, spanning start-ups, turnaround ventures, and high-growth organizations, David Lantz is a seasoned professional who exemplifies leadership that drives success across diverse industries. As a strategic planner and executor with a keen insight into business and risk analysis, leadership, team building, finance, and operations, his career is highlighted by significant achievements in enhancing productivity, leadership, and profitability. Notably, David’s expertise encompasses strategic planning, P&L management, budgeting, GAAP, and new business development, underscoring a comprehensive skill set pivotal for organizational growth.David’s professional journey is marked by remarkable tenures, including over five years as a CFO in an international energy company, extensive experience in finance and accounting within the non-profit sector, and spearheading the full-scale reorganization of a premier fashion retail company in Kuwait. This resulted in substantial sales growth and operational expansion, demonstrating an unparalleled capacity to transform businesses. Additionally, with more than two decades of experience in management, real estate development, and sales, coupled with a global operational footprint in regions such as the USA, Europe, Japan, Australia, and the Middle East, his leadership has consistently yielded the highest ever performance metrics through innovative management techniques.At the helm of Lantz Enterprises, Inc., David further cemented his role as a visionary entrepreneur, seamlessly managing real estate ventures and providing expert consulting services. His educational background in management, coupled with a technical degree in Aviation Technology and professional certifications, complements a career characterized by ethical leadership, strategic innovation, and lasting organizational growth. Looking ahead, Tim envisions further growth and success in both land acquisition and real estate investment. He remains dedicated to identifying innovative opportunities, fostering strategic partnerships, and contributing positively to the real estate industry's evolution.As a Land Acquisition Manager and Real Estate Investor, Tim Butler exemplifies the perfect blend of expertise, vision, and integrity in the dynamic world of real estate.