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Developing a Place, Not a Property

New developments are a dime a dozen. They tend to copy the form de jour: live, work, play; warehouse lofts, urban marketplaces. Those who get it right know that it’s not about the form of a building or even about being different from the competition—it’s about developing a place that lasts.


Great places tell an original, authentic story. They invite people in and create experiences that feel considered, from the smallest detail to the name on the door.

No matter if it’s your neighborhood pub or the world-renowned French Laundry, the vast beauty of the Grand Canyon or the architectural feats of the Eiffel Tower, Ace Hotel’s urban cool or Blackberry Farm’s rural luxury; these are all places that tell great stories. In order to get there, you must first understand the essence of what already exists—the history, culture and design—and then be able to express that essence through your brand.

Consider these practical steps:

Do the research to know your past—then take your place in history.

Know the characters and culture that exist—then deliver an experience they will value.

Understand people’s daily rhythms—then set an appropriate pace.

Study their style—then design your details.

Identify what a community lacks—then create a place that enhances it.

When a place tells a great story, it will beckon your audience to share it with others. You can’t put a price tag on a good memory—and that will make your consumer and investor equally happy.