WHAT I DO
I am a licensed architect and certified planner and over the past 30 years I have worked in architecture, government administration, real estate development, and as an independent consultant, serving in the roles of architect, owner, developer, and owner’s representative. I have worked for public, private, and non-profit clients and my project experience has ranged from small to large, new construction to adaptive reuse, and from concept design and entitlements through construction and occupancy. Through this experience I have developed a unique multi-disciplinary approach that I bring to all of my work.
The work I do is usually called owner’s representative services but I consider my role to be far broader than basic design and construction project management. I serve as an advisor, advocate, counselor, and team member, helping to envision, plan, and implement complex design and construction projects from beginning to end. Being able to see problems from different viewpoints helps me to facilitate discussions between stakeholders that lead to better decisions for my clients — the people responsible for planning, designing, building, owning, and operating major urban projects on a day-to-day basis.
Most important, I help my clients achieve their long-term objectives by providing supplemental capacity required to implement big, complex, non-recurring projects. I help identify and fill the gaps in expertise and effort between team members and make connections between disciplines. I can lead, facilitate, or follow and my experience and personal style allow me to communicate effectively up, down, and sideways. I reduce stress and increase productivity for my clients and other team members by allowing for a more balanced deployment of resources. My job is to make it easier for my clients to do their jobs.
Research, Writing, and Teaching
I am a practitioner first but I am also an academic. My research is focused on understanding urban redevelopment projects not from one perspective, but from many, including those of the city official, politician, planner, property owner, developer, user, and neighbor. My first book, America’s Waterfront Revival (Penn Press, 2009), received critical acclaim and reinforced my reputation as an expert on public authorities, waterfront redevelopment, and urban redevelopment generally. My latest book, How Real Estate Developers Think (Penn Press, 2015), sheds new light on real estate developers as people and will help members of the community better understand what these entrepreneurial city builders do and why they do it. I have taught graduate level courses in private sector real estate development, urban design theory, site planning, and urban design methods. My work, research, writing, and teaching actively inform one another, helping me to think more about how we can all do a better job of building our cities together.