65: Iconic Retail Anchored Mixed-Use Developments with Don Briggs, Hg80

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Don Briggs is a seasoned veteran in the real estate development industry, with a robust career spanning nearly three decades. He co-founded and serves as the managing partner at Hg 80. Previously, Don was the director of development for Federal Realty Investment Trust and played a pivotal role in creating iconic retail-anchored mixed-use developments, including Assembly Row in Greater Boston. An Army brat with roots in various parts of the United States, Don studied architecture, moved into construction, and ultimately found his passion in development. He's respected for his ability to engage with a broad spectrum of disciplines, from design to politics, and for creating immersive, walkable places in first-tier suburbs around major cities.

Episode Summary:

In this episode of Design Development, the rendezvous with Don Briggs unfurls a tapestry of industry insights from the realm of real estate development, design, and construction. Our host, Renz Hayes, invites listeners on a journey beside the co-founder and managing partner at Hg 80, who possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of the development sector, particularly in the vertiginous climbs of mixed-use space.

Don Briggs shares his compelling narrative, beginning as an Army brat and self-professed lifelong learner, leading up to his status as an influential figure in real estate development. His architectural background and construction experience paved the way for a prestigious career in REITs. The conversation delves into the philosophy and the fine mechanics of creating large-scale, retail-anchored, mixed-use developments, with a spotlight on iconic projects like Assembly Row.

  • The intricacies of Don's strategic moves, such as navigating the complexities of physical properties in shifting markets, reveal a deliberate approach to development.
  • Insights into the transition from private enterprises to publicly traded REIT structures detail how financial strategies fuel large-scale projects.

Key Takeaways:

  • Don Briggs brings unique insights from his rich experience in creating retail-anchored mixed-use developments.
  • The episode uncovers the importance of community-focused projects that invite human interaction and create neighborhoods.
  • The show explores the challenges and strategies entailed in real estate development amid economic contractions and expansions.
  • Discussion on the role of capital allocation and real estate execution underlines future trends and opportunities in development.
  • The multidisciplinary approach in real estate is emphasized, requiring skills in design, politics, finance, and community engagement.

To grasp the entirety of wisdom shared by Don Briggs about the art and science of property development, tune in to the full epis

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