Real estate development has historically been, and unfortunately still is, a male dominated business. (The story of Florence Casler is, however, a great outlier.) If you want some empirical evidence for this, pay attention to the length of the line for the men’s bathroom the next time you’re at a real estate conference or event.
This needs to change. Which is why my good friend Taya Cook (of Urban Capital) has just announced, in partnership with Sherry Larjani (of Spotlight Development), the first all-female development project in Canada. It’s called Reina and it’s planned for a vacant site at 689 The Queensway, Toronto. Here is an excerpt from a recent RENX article:
“We’re embarking on this project to create more visibility for women in real estate development, and to inspire younger women to see career possibilities,” said Cook, the director of development at Urban Capital, in a release announcing the project. “It’s a huge industry and a massive economic driver for the region. For some reason it has been seriously lagging behind in gender equity.”
Two things are probably important to mention about the team and project.
Firstly, the women developing Reina are all leaders and key decision makers. This is important for the project’s broader mission, but also because it will likely remove male biases from the design process. Everything from architecture to construction will be led by women and will incorporate a “female perspective.” Secondly — and this just makes the narrative even better — the site used to house a strip club.
Congratulations Taya, Sherry, and the rest of the project team on a terrific development and initiative: “Condominiums designed by women. Developed by women. Built for everyone.” Follow Reina on Instagram, here.
Image: Reina Condos