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My Story: Jennifer Pinck
Auction (July16) L-BOS
June 20, 2013

My Story: Jennifer Pinck

Pinck & Co prez Jennifer Pinck is handling $460M in development projects as an owner's rep, so it's clear to the builders, architects, and engineers that she's in charge. But a female in the c-suite wasn't par for the course in the '70s, when she started.

Back then, as a commercial painter for a big company, she never met a woman co-worker. In the '80s and '90s, as a superintendent on downtown construction projects, construction manager on the $4B Boston Harbor Clean Up, and later as a manager for the $16B Big Dig, men would come into her office and ask to see the boss. Still, she met many great people who appreciated her enthusiasm for development and eagerness to learn. Now, while construction is still male dominated, there are more high-level women in finance and design.

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Pinck & Co—which Jennifer launched in '98—focuses on construction and development projects for institutions, public agencies, and non-profits, like the New England Center for Homeless Veterans in Government Center. She expects construction to start there by fall of '14 on 35 units of permanent supportive housing added to existing transitional accommodations and SRO units. The 24/7 nature of the facility and its busy downtown location present the challenges of doing construction with no lay-down space. But that's OK, because Jennifer says she'll reap the rewards of delivering this type of much-needed housing.

Jennifer—here with project director Tom O'Neil, who specializes in construction management—says that she fell in love with building things because she likes the thrill of a challenge, the reward of getting things done, and the satisfaction of having a tangible end product: "It's in my DNA." Now as a business owner, she has fun hiring people who share her values. This was critical in the recently completed, $38M Lowell Community Health Center project, which renovated a 100k SF old mill building into a meticulously clean and efficient multi-purpose healthcare facility. (Makes sense. After all, what is surgery but precision milling?)

Project manager Shara Lewis, with counterpart Melissa Martinez, has the delicate task of budget control at a time when construction costs have regained the 15% they lost during the recession and will likely rise another 4% in the next 12 months, by Jennifer's estimate. She intensively focuses on the value proposition, as she did during the cost escalation of the 2000s. One difference: The recent economic downturn cut the number of subs, making it harder to get competitive bids. Cost control is critical on the middle school project Pinck is doing for the City of Chelsea, which by year's end will decide whether to renovate an existing facility or build new.

Saving the Alvah Kitteredge House

Construction officially started this week on the 1836 Alvah Kittredge House in Roxbury (above), which is being transformed into five housing units by non-profit Historic Boston Inc with local, state, and federal funds. The $3.8M project certainly isn't the largest in town, but it's emblematic of what makes Boston distinctive: a drive to restore and preserve the old while building the new. The now-vacant mansion on 10 Linwood St was built by Kittredge, a furniture maker, on the site of a military fort used in the Revolutionary War and reflects a post-war era when the city was growing quickly.

It's one of few remaining high-style Greek Revival buildings left in Boston; the city took it over when it was in danger of deteriorating beyond repair. Once extensive structural repairs and detailed restoration are completed (rendering above), it will provide much needed housing and perhaps an economic boost to the Highland Park neighborhood, says Mayor Thomas Menino, who attended Tuesday's groundbreaking. A stipulation of the public funding is that the residences will be rented for the first five years before they can be put up for sale.


That would be "Friends of Bisnow." (Not Fedical Office Building.) At Bisnow's summer cocktail party Tuesday at Towne we snapped Goulston & Storrs' Jeff Scalzi, our Boston business manager Luke Nichols, Conviser Property Group's Jim Conviser, AEI's Pete McGlew and Stephen Graham, and EBI's Jamie Sullivan and colleague Brian Fairbanks. Jamie and Brian are engineers that do environmental, civil engineering, and due diligence work on—among other things—CRE developments. If that sounds a bit dry, think again: Their firm has helped paved the way for major overhauls like the redevelopment of downtown Quincy, now under way.

OK gang, send us some of your favorite things to do during summer in the city. Tell susan@bisnow.com. We'll publish some of the best.

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