Boston—Related Beal, a development company based in Boston and part of The Related Companies, recently announced that Kim Sherman Stamler has been promoted to chief operating officer. MHN talks to Sherman Stamler about development trends in Boston and what they mean for Related Beal.
MHN: Congratulations on your new role. What are your priorities in your new position?
Sherman Stamler: I’ve been working in Boston for about 10 years now. I’ve been doing it from New York—I started by overseeing the project The Clarendon and worked on a bunch of projects since then. Really the goals of the company are to continue the platforms that currently are at both Related Beal and Related. That would include new developments in multifamily, condominiums, office, medical and affordable. When I say new developments, that would be ground-up construction or asset acquisition where we’re repositioning. I’m really looking to grow an already-strong platform into different asset classes and all that falls within the Related wheelhouse.
MHN: You mentioned condos. Do you think condos are making a comeback?
Sherman Stamler: I think that there is a demand for condominiums in Boston because people really want to live in the city. The former mayor and the current mayor have created a place where people want to live and work and spend time in, so I do see the condo market as a healthy market for people who want ownership. Multifamily opportunities are attractive as well. I think that as your life changes and you are just starting out in the city or have been a long-time resident in the city, renting is always a great option, and I see both forms of residential to continue to be strong. I think it’s a terrific city, and I think people want to be there.
MHN: And renting is attractive to millennials, who are starting out in the city, as you mentioned. What about baby boomers?
Sherman Stamler: Definitely. I think that baby boomers are attracted to all of the services that a building offers. At The Arlington, which is one of our newest rentals, we are attracting many people who are looking to have the services of both the city and the building. I think that the option of renting appeals to many people.
MHN: What are some of the new features you’re seeing in Related buildings?
Sherman Stamler: Throughout the country, our brand is really built on a strong service platform. So when you’re in one of our buildings, you have everything at your fingertips, from package delivery to concierge service that can arrange anything from a dinner party to a dog walker. We really try to work on the amenities to be an extension of somebody’s lifestyle, so we will build out fitness centers and party rooms that we think people will really utilize, both for special occasions, and for everyday events. We find that this service, combined with the amenities and the unit finishes really attract people who are looking for an ease of lifestyle.
MHN: I like that these are things people use, not just “amenities for the sake of amenities.”
Sherman Stamler: Exactly! We like to look at our other buildings throughout the country to see which programs are being utilized so we can capitalize on those and grow those in our future buildings.
MHN: Is there anything you don’t include anymore? What’s “out” in terms of amenities?
Sherman Stamler: I think we once tried a golf simulator in a building, years and years ago, and maybe [it wasn’t popular] because it was the summer and people went out to play real golf. There’s nothing really that we don’t do anymore. We might tweak. For example, in our business center, we found that people would utilize Macs and printers if we would put them in, as opposed to just having a conference table with a computer screen and a dial-in. So we started appointing our business centers with a couple more devices to make them more usable and really round out the opportunities in the business center, even if that meant having a conference table and also some smaller break-out rooms. We like to draw from our national portfolio for each one of our markets. Sometimes what people are doing in some cities aren’t what they’re doing in others, and we try to take the “best of” wherever we are. I’ve been involved with all of our multifamily rentals throughout the country, so that’s exciting to me to bring some of those assets and amenities to Boston.
MHN: What’s next for Related?
Sherman Stamler: We’re going to break ground in the fall on 131 Beverley condominium project. Converse’s headquarters is located right next to the condominium project and is going to start their work in the fall. We’re also rounding out our affordable group. Affordable housing is a big part of Related, and we recently started an affordable housing division at Related Beal, where we’re looking at development and repositioning opportunities for various forms of affordable housing. We are very excited about that.