Douglass Karp specializes in giant, mixed-use development projects—and the complicated process of winning approvals from communities and local officials. Among his responsibilities, Karp leads all aspects of the development process for New England Development, from site acquisition through to leasing. In 2013, the firm opened Chestnut Hill Square—a property with medical office space, retail and restaurant space, a fitness center, and a grocery store—on a once-blighted, nine-acre (3.6 ha) site in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.
“It’s important to have a good relationship with the local community in order to create the flexibility that may be needed during the redevelopment process,” says Karp. “The underlying fundamentals—great location, excellent access, and strong demographics—have to be sound in order to redevelop a site into a successful mixed-use project,” he says. “We take a creative approach—not limiting the uses, but looking at the most effective mix.”