What was your greatest professional accomplishment in 2019?
My firm has had a great year in proving that our approach to design and development can yield exciting results for both our clients and for the communities where we build. This is because the “RODE Approach” is a little bit different from development business-as-usual: We are proud of the way that our inclusive, collaborative process brings great design to neighborhoods across the region in a manner that ensures the community is also proud of the finished product. We saw evidence of that success in a number of great wins for our clients and for the communities where these projects will be built. Ultimately it serves as confirmation that good design can win the day when you work with an open dialogue and willing partners.
What was your most notable project, deal or transaction in 2019?
RODE is honored to partner with a development team that includes The Community Builders and Pine Street Inn, on a project that proposes to bring the largest supportive housing community to Jamaica Plain. This project will be a haven for the tenants who will find a home here, and will serve as a prominent symbol of the role that non-profit organizations play in addressing homelessness and the housing crisis. I am excited by the opportunity to showcase my belief that architecture is not some unapproachable luxury, but plays a critical role in improving the quality of life and daily experience of its users, no matter the project budget or income level of its residents. Armed with our inclusive process and innovative approach to design, we won the support of both the community and city, and received approval of the Boston Planning & Development agency in November.
What are your predictions for commercial real estate in 2020?
I love to build new partnerships, engage with communities to learn how a project can benefit their neighborhood, and work together towards common goals. In a city like Boston, the tensions between parties thriving off the city’s economic strength and the populations being left behind are not going away in the near future. The more we can work to forge meaningful working relationships with the people who will be affected by the projects we create, the better we can ensure that those projects will become good civic neighbors and enhance the overall quality of the community.