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Reaching The Peak At Ascent — How A Miami Retreat Forged A Deal In Boston

Earlier this fall, a project came across Scott Goldman’s desk that reminded him of someone he met months earlier.


The deal was to develop a life sciences property just outside of Boston, and the acquisition loan, which had been coordinated in expedited circumstances, needed to be taken out by a new lender.

That’s when he remembered meeting Allison Pistone, a senior originator within AllianceBernstein’s debt fund. She had been in the same tribe session as Goldman at Ascent, Bisnow’s Miami retreat for emerging leaders in real estate. Goldman recalled how Pistone emphasized the unique unlevered nature of AB’s debt fund, which targets senior mortgages on transitional assets in major markets.

When they first met, he did not have any deals that Pistone could capitalize, but he had made a note to himself to remember what she and her team were interested in. He also recalled that she had gone to college in Boston and thought that market familiarity and the deal profile would be a good fit.

“I gained all of that personal knowledge from the small group sessions we were in,” said Goldman, who serves as managing principal at Baum Revision. “Without that, I don’t know if we would have made that personal connection that made the deal possible.”

The duo worked together to close on $50M in financing for the project. For Goldman, who is based in Chicago, it was a boon to work with AllianceBernstein, which he said held a great deal of experience in the Boston market.

A tribe session at Ascent

It had been Goldman’s fourth year at Ascent, and his tribe session had been stacked with other developers who, like Goldman, specialized in adaptive reuse projects, as well as representatives from various capital partners with experience in those areas.

The crossover was no coincidence — the Bisnow Ascent team had hand-picked every member of the group to maximize the possibility of forming joint ventures and funding relationships.

Spaced out over the retreat, the meetings of the tribe session created a tightly-knit unit that let Goldman bond with a set of his peers in a way that he said isn’t usually possible at most real estate conferences.

“Almost all the business we do is with repeat relationships, so this is a chance to expand those horizons,” Goldman said.

For Goldman, going to Ascent was about building relationships to expand his company. Baum Revision has already made a name for itself in the world of adaptive reuse, reimagining and transforming historic buildings in the Chicago area and beyond, all with an eye toward sustainability, historic preservation and community building.

Going to Ascent not only gives Goldman a chance to hear from some of the brightest minds in real estate about the latest trends, but also to put in the groundwork for the future of Baum Revision. 

“I love interacting with people, and Ascent is a great environment to meet people that are relevant to what we do,” Goldman said.

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