Beyond The Bio: 16 Questions With The Davis Cos. President Richard McCready
This series profiles men and women in commercial real estate who have profoundly transformed our neighborhoods and reshaped our cities, businesses and lifestyles.
Boston-based The Davis Cos. is behind some of the East Coast’s most notable projects. Founded in 1976 with a focus on urban residential renovations and conversions, the company has gone on to develop the Boston Design Center (later dubbed the Innovation and Design Building after being acquired by Jamestown) and redevelop Pittsburgh’s Union Trust Building into a LEED-certified retail and office building. It is underway with the 1,055-room Omni Boston Hotel at the Seaport, expected to become the city’s fourth-largest hotel.
The Davis Cos.' president, Richard McCready, has been with the company since 2014. Prior to joining Davis, McCready was the chief operating officer at NorthStar Realty Finance Corp. and also founded Hummock Pond Capital Strategies, a real estate consulting and advisory firm.
Bisnow: How do you describe your job to people who are not in the industry?
McCready: I have the privilege of leading a brilliant, passionate team that collectively knows how to create value in developing and transforming buildings and neighborhoods.
Bisnow: If you weren’t in commercial real estate, what would you do?
McCready: That’s a tough question. I would start a company with one or all of my kids and learn something new.
Bisnow: What is the worst job you ever had?
McCready: As a teenager I was a janitor at a local YMCA. It was a tough and humbling job. I now have a great appreciation for those who make a living cleaning up after others.
Bisnow: What was your first big deal?
McCready: Back when I practiced law in the 1980s, I worked on a leveraged buyout of the Steinway Piano company. The most valuable assets were the company’s name, reputation and the real estate on 57th Street in NYC. The buyers put up $1M and borrowed $49M to buy the company. I was amazed that anyone could borrow that much against so little equity.
Bisnow: What deal do you consider to be your biggest failure?
McCready: There's a saying that goes, “success has many fathers, and failure is an orphan.” I don’t think in terms of biggest failure. It’s thankfully been more nuanced in my experience. You hopefully admit to, analyze and learn from your mistakes.
Bisnow: If you could change one thing about the commercial real estate industry, what would it be?
McCready: I’d like to see more diversity, particularly in leadership. During my career it’s been a business dominated by older men (of which I’ve become one). I see change slowly taking place and it’s happening primarily with younger entrants bringing technology solutions and innovation to the business.
Bisnow: What is your biggest pet peeve?
McCready: My greatest pet peeve is spending time with people who feel the need to always be talking and don’t listen enough.
Bisnow: Who is your greatest mentor?
McCready: In business, my greatest mentor is my father. He understands and has demonstrated how important strong relationships are to the foundation and success of your business.
Bisnow: What is the best and worst professional advice you've ever gotten?
McCready: Best advice: Keep perspective and a sense of humor; what we do is important, but we aren’t heart surgeons.
Worst advice: Winning is everything.
Bisnow: What is your greatest extravagance?
McCready: Finding my way to a warm, sunny beach at least once every month of the year is my greatest extravagance.
Bisnow: What is your favorite restaurant in the world?
McCready: Blackeyed Susan’s on Nantucket. I’m always happy when I’m there.
Bisnow: If you could sit down with President Donald Trump, what would you say?
McCeady: Get off Twitter. It’s a cowardly, impulsive medium not suited to the importance of presidential communication. Also, get over your Obama vendetta.
Bisnow: What's the biggest risk you have ever taken?
McCready: I purchased a second home in the spring of 2009 when the world was very wobbly, which was a big risk at the time.
Bisnow: What is your favorite place to visit in your hometown?
McCready: My favorite place is the Weston Reservoir. It’s a beautiful place to walk and we are lucky to have this preserved open space near our home.
Bisnow: What keeps you up at night?
McCready: I worry about my kids and their happiness as well as concerns about how I’m spending my time. Am I giving enough of it to those I love?
Bisnow: Outside of your work, what are you most passionate about?
McCready: I am passionate about travel, adventures, laughs and delicious meals and wine shared with my wife and three kids.
CORRECTION: JAN. 22, 11:30 A.M. ET: A previous version of this story misspelled Richard McCready's last name. This story has been updated.