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SAN FRANCISCO: Socially Conscious Development


During a year abroad at Columbia University, Forest City head of Northern California ops Alexa Arena studied a Mexican village's protests when a private bank encroached on formerly communal land. A light bulb immediately went off about how real estate affects social and community development. Now she transforms structures into livable and workable environments for the 21st century. At Harvard Business School, a class with world-renowned innovation expert Clay Christensen on disruptive innovation inspired her to create 5M, a four-acre collaborative hub in downtown San Francisco for tech firms, entrepreneurs, the arts, residents, and food trucks. It's attracted Square (founded by Twitter creator Jack Dorsey), and Yahoo is in the works to join the site. Read more about Alexa and 5M in Real Estate Bisnow San Francisco.