Real estate group to fund college scholarships

RALEIGH – Nikita Zhitov, co-founder of Raleigh-based commercial real estate investment group CityPlat, LLC, is launching a foundation to subsidize real estate training and licensing for North Carolina high school students and fund college scholarships for those interested in commercial real estate as a career.

The Nikita Zhitov Foundation for Real Estate Education, a registered 501©3 nonprofit organization, will select student applicants to offer academic scholarship awards and pay for real estate training to obtain their North Carolina broker’s license.

Zhitov, 36, immigrated from Russia with his parents when he was 14. At the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham, he was introduced to commercial real estate through an independent study program. He transacted his first deal when he was 18 years old and credits the experience with providing an opportunity that set the course for his success.

CityPlat, co-founded by Zhitov in 2019, holds diversified real estate assets valued at more than $150 million. “Learning about commercial real estate as a high school student gave me the tools and confidence to pursue a career with unlimited potential,” Zhitov said. “This foundation will provide a new generation of young people with those same tools and excite them about the transformative power of real estate.”

Zhitov knows firsthand how a single real estate deal can transform one’s life. By the age of 23, his portfolio included over 40 commercial and multi-family properties. At CityPlat, he recruits young brokers with no industry experience, preferring to train them not only for success in real estate but also stressing the importance of goal setting and personal development. In his book, “Expandability of Investment Real Estate,” Zhitov offers guiding principles for real estate and for life. Those principles are reinforced in the CityPlat culture of intellectual curiosity and learning.

Zhitov has initially pledged $1 million to the foundation but said that amount may change based on the level of interest and number of student applications. In addition to mentoring and paying for commercial real estate school and licensing, the foundation will offer one full scholarship each year to a selected student to attend an in-state college or university with a real estate business major or concentration.

“Growing up in Siberia, we didn’t have the option to study whatever we wanted,” he said. “I was given that opportunity here in America, and I want to provide young people with the opportunity to learn about an industry and a career that can be life-changing, both for the individual and their family and for the community where they live and work.”

The foundation will announce the official opening for student submissions this summer. More information can be found at 

June 21, 2022