79: Fulcrum Land & Infrastructure with Partner, Michael Tilford

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Michael Tilford is a seasoned real estate development professional with over 15 years of experience in the Boston area. His expertise encompasses areas from historical tax credits to large-scale developments like 121 Seaport and Eversource's underground substation in Cambridge. Along with his business partner, Ian Hatch, Michael co-founded Fulcrum Land and Infrastructure in January 2023. The company specializes in the entitlement process for real estate development projects, aiming to leverage public benefit and private gain through thoughtful development.

Episode Summary:

In this engaging discussion on “Design Development” with host Rens Hayes, Michael Tilford takes us through his serendipitous journey from Spokane to Boston, shedding light on the intricacies of real estate development and the potential intersections of public and private interests. Having been part of renowned projects and firms, Tilford's rich narrative illustrates the evolution of his career and the prevailing dynamics of the real estate market.

Tilford shares his experience in transforming urban spaces, highlighting his tenure at Boston Properties and the innovative solutions in developing the Eversource substation project. The conversation reveals the strategic mindset required to develop infrastructure projects within dense urban landscapes and addresses the critical role of community integration in the development process. With insightful anecdotes and hard-earned wisdom, Tilford and Hayes explore how commercial real estate can contribute positively to the civic realm.

Key Takeaways:

  • Michael Tilford has extensive experience in both the practical and financial aspects of real estate development, emphasizing the need for financial literacy in assessing project viability.
  • The conversation uncovers the complexities of aligning public and private goals in real estate, particularly in dense urban environments like Boston's Kendall Square.
  • Tilford's history with renowned projects like 121 Seaport and the Eversource substation underscores the transformative power of thoughtful urban development.
  • The role of external conditions, such as the financial crisis and market cycles, greatly influences real estate development opportunities and outcomes.
  • Fulcrum Land and Infrastructure, co-founded by Tilford, focuses on bridging the gap between necessary public infrastructure and private real estate development.

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Our goal is to help people in the industry identify opportunities for growth by sharing the journey of top performers. There is no one path. Success isn't a straight line. There is something to learn from everyone's story. Let's go!

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