GBREB Internship Program Promotes Diversity in Boston Real Estate

Greater Boston Real Estate Board  pic
Greater Boston Real Estate Board

As founder and president of The MacDowell Company, Roy MacDowell is in charge of the firm’s landscape design and construction operations in New England. Also a principal at the Weston, Massachusetts-based Baystone Development, Roy MacDowell belongs to the Greater Boston Real Estate Board (GBREB).

While Boston as a whole has become increasingly diverse, the city’s real estate industry has largely maintained the same homogeneous composition: white male. To address the lack of racial and gender diversity in Boston’s commercial real estate, GBREB, in partnership with uAspire, launched an internship program designed to introduce academically gifted students from disadvantaged backgrounds to commercial real estate, or CRE.

In the summer of 2015, three college-bound students, Kiana Mendes, Zashira Arias, and Meitong Mei, completed paid internships at WinnCompanies, Colliers International, and Leggat McCall Properties, respectively, some of the city’s most prominent real estate firms.

The students, none of whom had worked in an office before, started their internships with administrative tasks such as filing but before long graduated to more complex duties. The three gained a deeper understanding of CRE, and as a result, one of them, Mendes, is strongly considering joining the industry as a professional developer.


Signs it’s Time to Replace a Driveway

Replace a Driveway pic
Replace a Driveway

Award-winning real estate developer and investor Roy MacDowell serves as principal for the Massachusetts-based real estate development and investment firm Baystone Development. Prior to accepting this role in 2009, Roy MacDowell served as the president and founder of the MacDowell company, a construction and landscape design firm that worked on everything from pools and terraces to driveways.

Most driveways can last for several decades, but they eventually need repairs and replacements. The following are a few signs that it’s time to replace a driveway:

Cracks: Driveways naturally crack over time due to the weight of a car and the effects of local weather. Small cracks can generally be repaired with liquid crack-fillers to decrease spreading of the issue. Unfortunately, this fix does not look very good when the crack is more than a quarter-inch wide and individuals may need to consider replacing their driveway instead.

Drainage issues: Water should easily flow off of a driveway and away from a building if the driveway is in good condition, so drainage issues are often a simple way of recognizing that a driveway needs replacing. If ignored, pooled water can increase the number of potholes and cracks and cause serious damage.

Age: On average, driveways last for 20 years when comprised of asphalt and 25 years when made from pavers or concrete. When a driveway starts nearing these ages, it is time to replace it, asthe materials used will begin failing. Even if there are no major cracks currently, issues are more likely to develop at a much faster rate once the driveway is old.

Important Sustainability Research at the NAIOP

National Association of Industrial & Office Properties  pic
National Association of Industrial & Office Properties

An experienced real estate professional, Roy MacDowell is a principal with Baystone Development in Weston, Massachusetts. To stay involved with his professional community, Roy MacDowell is a trustee of the National Association of Industrial & Office Properties (NAIOP), a commercial real estate development association.

The NAIOP conducts research in many fields related to commercial real estate development, including sustainability. In recent years, sustainability has become an important issue and something that tenants, even commercial ones, are increasingly looking for in the spaces that they rent.

On its website, NAIOP has published a number of research papers that will help developers understand how to make their properties as green as possible. One paper, for example, looks at different energy-harvesting devices that buildings owners can install on rooftops to see which are most effective in various environments.

Another paper looks at LEED design approaches for larger spaces, including warehouses and distribution centers. Yet another great resource examines the federal and local government incentives for green construction to show developers how they can get the largest return on their investment.