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Two minutes to the subway

I was in a meeting the other day and we started talking about a wayfinding sign that indicated it was a 10 minute walk to the nearest subway station. We wondered who had made this sign and ultimately decided that the number should be 10. Either they had no idea where the subway was or they were being ultra conservative in their estimate. The subway was — at most — 5 minutes away.

We then joked that if a developer had made the sign it would say 2 minutes, which I thought was telling. Some people like to describe real estate development as an exercise in risk mitigation. And that is certainly something that needs to be managed. But it’s also an exercise in resiliency, as you get every possible obstacle thrown in front of you. It’s as if the goal is not to build anything.

So while it’s important to manage the possible risks, I believe you have to be a bit of a glass-half-full kind of person in order to continue the march forward. Otherwise you’d probably give up. My first boss out of grad school used to describe it as reaching into the mouth of a tiger when everyone else figured it was over. I saw her do that time and time again and it made her great at what she did.

1 Comment so far

  1. Scott Baker

    Yes, that’s why I – and a few brave developers, architects and brokers – keep trying to bring the most innovative building in the world – and the largest by floor area – to life. Getting timid politicians and agencies to agree has been a challenge! Video & details here:


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