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Is the architect the answer to what ails real estate today?

  • Insights
BY JEFF POLLAK, MANAGING PRINCIPAL

Let’s start by giving architects their well-deserved props. These talented professionals are true masters of their craft; envisioning and constructing awe-inspiring physical spaces that blend structural integrity with aesthetic brilliance. From soaring skyscrapers to dynamic cultural hubs, the built environment would be lost without their artistry and technical expertise. 

 

However, in today’s experience economy, is sheer architectural magnificence enough to create truly great places? Is a new design an exit strategy to a struggling or failing asset? While architects excel at the physical manifestation, their typical scope often overlooks the key ingredient that transforms inert structures into vibrant community destinations: understanding and aligning with the end user experience.  Architects are not responsible for filling the spaces they create — they don’t have to drive sales and footfall, drive pace of absorption or reduce tenant turnover. 

 

I view developments not just as buildings, but as dynamic places interwoven into the fabric of their surrounding communities. Architectural vision provides the essential starting canvas, but as place consultants it’s our role at Streetsense to enliven that blank canvas into an immersive experience tailored for the target consumer. 

 

Our real estate advisory complements the architect’s physical mastery with a comprehensive, market-based approach that factors in every facet of placemaking: brand strategy, consumer research, amenity curation, public space activation, operations, and more. Our consulting services seamlessly stitch together all these essential components into a cohesive value proposition designed to spark connection and resonance—and drive economic value. 

 

By expanding the architect’s vision into this broader experiential realm, we don’t diminish their contributions, we elevate them. Their structures transcend static objects into dynamic community hubs. When design meets market potential, magnetic destinations are created in which people want to live, work, and immerse themselves. 

 

The most successful developments today don’t just dazzle the eye; they capture the human spirit. Streetsense acts as the connective tissue between the architectural muse and the profound existential question: How do we create places that move people?   

 

The Streetsense place consulting team leverages strategic and creative advisory services to solve complex real estate issues that enhance the value of places—whether they are new mixed-use developments, assets facing challenges, vibrant districts, or captivating destinations. 

 

Photo of The Wharf courtesy Hoffman-Madison Waterfront

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