Not Just Along for the Ride


The most exciting assignments aren’t the ones where you just sit back and let the developer tell you what he/she wants where. The truly exciting ones are when they allow you to be an active part of the decision making. I liken it to a road trip with friends to Ann Arbor, Michigan. Sitting in the back seat the entire time is an experience, sure, as you watch the trees along the side of the highway go by. And, yeah, you ultimately end up in Ann Arbor. But the thrill is far greater when you’re plotting the stops along the way and taking a turn at the wheel.

We were recently engaged to be part of a team that will allow us to do just that, taking a driver’s seat role by working alongside a real estate developer and a team that includes, at any moment, a general contractor, construction manager, broker, mechanical engineer, structural engineer and number of other professionals. Our client, who we have worked with for many years and in a number of different capacities, is looking to acquire several commercial properties. Condominiums, office towers, hotels, rental buildings and plots of land throughout the Northeast corridor are all on the table for consideration.

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As they build their portfolio, we’re charged with doing due diligence for the buildings and sites, going beyond the role of architect and coordinating a large group of consultants, helping our client make intelligent decisions about their investments. We’re bringing in experts and providing detailed analysis early on, identifying desirable parcels of lands or buildings that can be readily redeveloped, repositioned or built upon. It’s wonderful to do more than to respond to an RFP; we’re becoming an investment advisor and a true “partner” in each of their deals.

Am I ready to meet my client at the next destination? Absolutely. I’m even happy to take the wheel and be a driver — an actively involved party that will help them get exactly where they need to go. Pass me the keys! Go Blue!