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Denver Power Women: 5 Questions With Developer Amy Cara

This limited series profiles Power Women who have helped shape metro Denver's cities, neighborhoods, businesses and lifestyles. These women will be honored at Bisnow's Denver Power Women event on Dec. 5.

East West Partners Managing Partner Amy Cara is always looking for opportunities to connect people with the places where they live. She has focused on neighborhood placemaking in the Union Station and Riverfront Park neighborhoods in Denver and The Landmark development in Greenwood Village. Cara is committed to the arts and responsible land development through her charitable involvement. She fosters good stewardship in development through her involvement with the Urban Land Institute.

East West Partners Managing Partner Amy Cara

Bisnow: How do you describe your job to people who are not in the industry?

Cara: At East West Partners, we create terrific places. More than developers of buildings, we focus on creating the places that people are excited to gather and live their lives. From Riverfront Park to Denver Union Station, it is as much about the experiences created and the places between as it is about the bricks and mortar. Thinking through how people live in their homes, work in their offices and interact with the city are the places I focus when I start thinking about what to build in each place we engage in and continue to challenge our thinking.

Bisnow: What is the biggest business problem you have faced and how did you solve it?

Cara: We began our work in Denver with a large move — creating Riverfront Park — and then extended that work to Denver Union Station. The incredible vision that Harry Frampton, Mark Smith and Chris Frampton have put into creating this community mean big shoes to fill. I have a new challenge — finding the next place to make an impact. I don’t have that fully solved yet, but I am continuing to explore that with our team in order to make sure we continue to fulfill that promise. 

Bisnow: What is one thing you think companies can do to address wage and gender inequality?

Cara: I think the biggest thing is more transparency and frank and honest evaluation by the executive team of salary comparisons across roles and responsibilities at a company. When you look at these things across the board, it is hard to avoid seeing the disparities. When discovered, actions should be taken to make up the difference. It might be embarrassing initially, but making those moves builds trust and shows that you value all of your employees.

Bisnow: What piece of advice do you give others entering the industry?

Cara: Above all, be yourself. There can be pressure to conform to some other ideal, but the best you is the real you.

Bisnow: What do you do to unwind when you’re not working?

Cara: I love to travel, and I love to get outside — hiking and paddle boarding in summer, skiing in winter. It’s also important to me to find time to be creative. I’m dabbling in guitar right now, but it shifts. I think it is important to use the right side of my brain.

Meet East West Partners Managing Partner Amy Cara at Bisnow's Denver Power Women event Dec. 5 at Four Seasons Hotel Denver.