What was your greatest professional accomplishment in 2017? I’m proud to say there are several accomplishments that come to mind. As president for the Connecticut Economic Development Association, member of the executive board of directors - World Affairs Council, and as a board member to the Connecticut/Westchester Chapter for CoreNet Global, all have given me the opportunity to support economic development throughout greater Hartford. One significant accomplishment would be that of the highly successful, first-time event which focused on women leaders. The CoreNet chapter board wanted to celebrate leading women-driven efforts in real estate. My overlapping relationships in several organizations contributed to hosting more than 200 people at The Hartford’s newly renovated office tower. It was a coordinated effort with CREW CT - The Real Estate Exchange, CoreNet, and CEDAS that made it a great success.
What was your most notable project, deal, or transaction in 2017? One significant project was the attraction of Trader Joe’s Distribution/Warehouse Center to Bloomfield, Conn. Competition was stiff but ultimately the project landed here. This is a $78.5 million, 692,200 s/f distribution center that will employ 675 and include 150 transportation jobs. Using tilt-up construction the project is moving along on schedule and hiring has begun. Projected timing for construction completion is 2Q 2018.
What are your predictions for commercial real estate in 2018? I’m always under the belief that good information will provide the balance to negative perceptions. I expect 2018 to be a year where economic developers must double their marketing efforts and provide information that will show why Connecticut is the ideal place for new commercial development. Organizations that are already focused on better land use practices will help stimulate a better business climate, making the process smoother for development opportunities. In my opinion, 2018 will be a year to strengthen what is already done well and to make sure everyone knows about it.