Mark Kennedy a long time commercial real estate professional and early advocate and thought leader on helping the commercial real estate world adapt to an fast evolving environment.
Cofounder of disruptive, diet to market business models like CoWork in a Box, the first advisory to helps landlords implement their own white label Coworking and Space-as-a-Service offerings, and CoWork at the Mall, a truly innovative experiential retail experience concept ala Retail-as-a-Service has now turned his sights towards helping underserved communities across America engage with capital providers, developers, corporate America, academia, tech incubators to provide holistic, sustainable innovation hubs in QOZs.
The QOZ is truly a Win-Win for capital providers and the communities when done right. A program of Prosper in Place as opposed to Gentrification, helps keep the community’s human capital and rich cultural intact, while rebuilding the physical elements.
We are experiencing resurgence in community, in all facets of real estate from office to home to retail. The workplace is no longer a single location in a CBD, it is everywhere. The gig economy and flexible work arrangements now allow underserved areas to become hubs of innovation and technology. Retail has gone from a monolithic approach of getting generic products into as many stores as possible to a Direct to Consumer shift that values Digitally Native unique products that are locally sourced and made. Cuisine once the domain of large conglomerates is no longer, Ghost Kitchens and mobile food trucks have brought new life to a variety of locally crafted cuisine not possible until now. All this lends to the rebirth of the neighborhood.
In addition to helping create and manage one of the most talked about Impact-Driven Opportunity Zone Funds FUEL-LA, Mark also advises REITs, HNW Individuals, Family Offices, Non Profits and Endowments on structuring and sourcing QOZ investments on how best to build consensus with community stakeholders to ensure timely entitlement and permitting approval process.