Creating Place (re)making


AdAptive reuse


As people nowadays seek out experience that is increasingly unique and urban, both public and private sectors have grown to recognize the transformative impact of arts and culture. Successful cases of adaptive use and arts districts offer an experiential lifestyle that takes pride in cities’ heritage. Join us for the discussion where developers from hot cities like New York, Miami, Detroit, and Toronto dive into topics on opportunities and risks of retrofitting, place-based strategies, and public-private partnerships.


Panel Director:

Ina Yinan Liu (Master of Urban Planning '19)



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Frederick N. Cooper

Frederick N. Cooper is Senior Vice President of Finance, International Development and Investor Relations of Toll Brothers. Fred Cooper joined Toll Brothers in 1993 to establish its Finance and Investor Relations departments. As the Company's in-house investment bank, the team he leads is responsible for our capital markets and investor relations activities as well as our partnering relationships with major U.S. and international institutions. Since formation, the group has raised over $15 billion from banks, the public capital markets, and institutional partners. In addition to capital raising, the group advises on complex project structuring, joint ventures, corporate mergers and acquisitions, and major property acquisitions. Fred has been financial point for our expansion into Toll Brothers City Living and Toll Brothers Apartment Living, as well as several other new start-up initiatives.

From 1989 to 1993, Fred was Director of Corporate Finance and Planning at DKM Properties Corp., the real estate arm of a Forbes 50 private company. From 1984 to 1989, he was Senior Vice President and a member of the Executive Committee of the NYC Financial Services Corporation, New York City's economic development bank. From 1980 to 1983, he worked in community-level affordable housing and economic development in the South Bronx and Brooklyn, New York.

Fred received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University and a Master of Public Policy degree focused on finance and international development from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.


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Michael Bisordi

Michael Bisordi is the founder of Tungsten Partners. Michael Bisordi founded Tungsten Partners 13 years ago as a private holdings company based in New York and which now has ownership in roughly 30 companies ranging from consumer products, fashion, art, real estate and hospitality, including as relevant to placemaking, The Ace Hotel brand/operating company.

Prior to this and after graduation from Cornell University, Arts & Sciences, Michael spent over six years split between The Global Real Estate Finance Group at Lehman Brothers and following that, on the Global Acquisitions team at Starwood Capital Group, with a focus on Europe.  

Tungsten Partners is the longest standing owner in the Ace Hotels.  Tungsten Partners was the most relevant partner in selecting cities and properties for respective locations of Ace Hotels globally.  Further, Tungsten Partners was responsible for sourcing many of the brand's most well known creative partnerships, until the death of Ace's founder and majority owner Alex Calderwood roughly 4 years ago.

Tungsten is currently engaged in multiple simultaneous large scale projects of global "place-making" and cultural engineering, bringing to bear its decade of experience with Ace and Tungsten's various active partnerships in other creative brands.  Tungsten endeavors to create an impactful, localized, customized narrative for select properties globally. To highlight some of its more recent activities, Tungsten is currently retained by the oldest landlord in New York City, the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world, the largest development company in the world, the largest class A office owner in the United States as well as other progressive mixed use land developers in various cities. 

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Joseph Furst

Joseph Furst is the Managing Director of Goldman Properties’ Wynwood portfolio. The Wynwood portfolio includes over 30 properties, consisting of approximately 215,000 square feet of buildings and 400,000 square feet of land. Joe oversees all development, financing, marketing, and leasing initiatives for the Wynwood portfolio. His work in Wynwood is place-making: developing a vibrant urban arts center, fueled by dynamic retail, office, dining and entertainment.

Joe serves as the Chair of the Wynwood Business Improvement District (“BID”), which he played an instrumental role in creating through a grant received from Artplace. He previously served as a founding member of the Wynwood Arts District Association.

Joe was born and raised in Coral Gables. He graduated from Hamilton College in 2001 with a B.A. in political science and economics. Joe continued his studies at the University of Miami School of Law where he graduated in 2004. After practicing law, Joe returned to graduate school to obtain a master degree in real estate from the Warrington College of Business at the University of Florida.

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Aaron Lemma

Aaron Lemma is the COO & Co-Founder of LIVWRK. Aaron Lemma comes to LIVWRK as an industry leader in Brooklyn and Manhattan residential real estate. In the last decade, his intuitive selling instincts and impeccable industry knowledge have solidified a flawless reputation among clients, investors and developers. Aaron's career progressed quickly from sales agent handling single residential transactions to brokering commercial and development transactions, eventually handling the entire new development process including acquisition, pre-development planning, and sales & marketing. 

In 2006, Aaron joined Two Trees management, ultimately becoming VP of real estate and effectuating all in-house marketing campaigns.

With the Corcoran Group, Aaron oversaw successful marketing campaigns and the sellout of over $300 million in newly developed, residential real estate, including Brooklyn's be@schermerhorn, Clermont Greene and The Isabella.




Ben Phillips

Ben Phillips is Vice President of Real Estate for Develop Detroit, a newly formed real estate and housing development company focused on the revitalization of Detroit neighborhoods. Ben's community development leadership spans twenty years, focused on the turnaround of troubled portfolios and building up development pipelines in emerging markets, including those in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. Experienced in the development of single-family and attached for-sale homes, cooperative housing development and management, and a wide range of multifamily rental development strategies including new construction, adaptive reuse, historic preservation, and public housing redevelopment, Ben has created assets totaling over $700 million. Ben is responsible for building the real estate business strategy and implementation platform for Develop Detroit, business development, and overseeing management of its development pipeline and assets. Since its founding in 2015, Develop Detroit has preserved affordability at three apartment buildings totaling approximately 200 units and built a development pipeline of mixed-use, mixed-income developments of nearly 800 units and 50,000 square feet of commercial space, including for sale and for rent homes.

Prior to joining Develop Detroit, Ben held a variety of executive and managerial positions for Mercy Housing, one of the nation's largest developers, owners, and operators of affordable housing. In these roles, Ben was responsible for the largest residential development in the City of Santa Barbara in over 20 years, the first non-profit led redevelopment of public housing in Los Angeles, and an innovative program to privately finance the development of supportive housing based on fee-for-service vendor relationships with public and private health systems, rather than public capital subsidies.

A Michigan native, Ben received got started in community development by providing property management and development assistance to student housing cooperatives throughout the United States and Canada, of which he benefitted as a student at the University of Michigan where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Literature and Creative Expression.

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Mathew Rosenblatt

Mathew Rosenblatt is a Principal at Cityscape Development Corp. Mathew Rosenblatt is a creative entrepreneur and consultant with a focus on real estate development and place-making. Mr. Rosenblatt’s experience includes master planning and revitalizing of the internationally acclaimed Distillery Historic District in Toronto, the Creation of the Toronto Christmas Market, an event that attracts over 500,000 visitors per year. The Toronto Christmas Market is considered by USA today, Mashable and Fodors magazine to be one of the Top 10 Christmas Market in the world. He’s also responsible for the Creation of the Distillery Restaurant Corporation. An award-winning hospitality company that now employs over 600 team members Outside of his own businesses, Mr. Rosenblatt also acts as a marketing and business consultant to a number of other Canadian companies.

Mathew's companies have garnered both national and global recognition for their creativity and overall success including: CBRE – 2017’s Top 22 Global Placemakers; National Geographic - Canada's Places of a Lifetime; The Canadian Urban Institute Award for City Renewal; The Canadian Urban Institute Award for Best Large Scale Project