The record number of permits for affordable housing in Boston in 2015 was driven largely by the luxury building boom the city is experiencing, especially in its Seaport District. With more permitting remaining to be done and new zoning regulations from Mayor Walsh now taking effect, it’s likely that 2016 also will be a strong year for affordable housing in the city.Read More
I had a happy sense of déjà vu recently when I visited Atlantic Gardens and Atlantic
Terrace, communities that serve as home to 750 low-income residents in the Southeast
section of Washington, DC.Read More
It’s interesting how quickly a business incentive can become a business imperative, and the great things that can happen along the way.
Fifteen years ago, MassHousing, the affordable housing “bank” for Massachusetts, began to encourage property developers and management companies to consider hiring Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs) to provide goods and services.Read More
Central and western Massachusetts too often is treated like a stepchild to the state’s capital city of Boston and its immediate suburbs. That’s why it was great to see Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and other officials make their way to the City of Fitchburg on November 5 to help WinnCompanies break ground on our latest project in the region. Thanks to my longtime business partner, Larry Curtis, the president of WinnDevelopment, we will soon begin the hard work on transforming a 110-year-old, Fitchburg Yarn mill building into 96 units of mixed-income housing.Read More
Arthur Winn, the founder and principal of WinnCompanies, an award-winning national property development and management company, was honored last week with the 2015 Community Leadership Award from the Boston Office of AJC (American Jewish Committee).
A record crowd of more than 500 people attended the AJC awards dinner for Winn at Boston’s Fairmont Copley Plaza hotel, including Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, former Gov. Michael Dukakis, residents of Winn-owned and managed communities, and dozens of developers, construction executives, and business, government and civic leaders. The event raised close to $1 million, a record amount for AJC Boston.Read More
Forty years ago affordable housing was often synonymous with slum housing or projects, breeding grounds for extreme poverty, gang violence, and lack of opportunity, and segregated the neighborhood from the city in which it has been built. I believed successful affordable housing must be aesthetically pleasing to the community and professionally managed in a way that holds residents accountable to community norms.
I was recently asked the question, "How did you redefine the entire industry?" Below are my four simple principles that I used over the years in the affordable housing industry.Read More
I have been involved in a number of causes over the years because I believe strong charitable initiatives, especially those that reinforce social services, are important to the health, safety and vitality of our communities. One of the groups I strongly support is the Boston Chapter of the American Jewish Committee (AJC).
Through smart grassroots advocacy in our communities and quiet diplomacy in the halls of power around the world, the AJC has proven to be one of the world’s most effective institutions at safeguarding the well-being of the Jewish people and promoting human rights and democratic values across religions and ethnicities.Read More
I am extremely humbled and sincerely grateful for this interview with Stacey Alcorn, blog contributor of The Huffington Post. Her words accurately describe my core values and the impact they have on every business endeavor I take on. I like to think that I do not fit the traditional mold of big businessmen and real estate developers. My commitment and dedication over the years has always been focused on the people and helping others. I learn so much from the people that I have the privilege to work with throughout the different WinnCompanies’ housing developments we have built over the years. They teach me more about the type of person I want to be and the mark I want to leave on this world, than I could ever teach myself or others.Read More
Adrian Walker, the longtime columnist for The Boston Globe, recently spent several hours with me at the Mission Main Apartments in Boston as the community prepared to honor tenant advocate Adline Stallings.
Walker’s resulting column captured perfectly the impact that Adline made on the future of Mission Main, which WinnCompanies transformed nearly 20 years ago and has managed ever since in a unique joint ownership arrangement with residents and with the support of the Boston Housing Authority.Read More
I've always believed in the importance of nurturing and maintaining the closest possible relationships with the residents of our properties. (I don't call them "tenants" because I find the term dehumanizing.) I’m fortunate to be especially close with Adline Stallings, a leader of the tenant task force for the Mission Main Apartments, a public housing property we manage in Boston.
We surprised Adline on Saturday afternoon by naming a community park in the development in her honor. Working with our partners, Boston Housing Authority Administrator Bill McGonagle, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and, of course, Task Force Co-Chair Willie Pearl, who is Adline’s close friend, we managed to keep things a secret for months until just before the sign was unveiled.Read More
As founder and owner of WinnCompanies, I enjoy wide latitude in taking credit for our successes. But the reality is that none of what we enjoy today would have been possible without the hard work of thousands of team members and the smart thinking of many experienced executives over the years. There’s one executive I am particularly fond of -- my son, Gilbert J. Winn. I was proud to name Gil as the CEO of the company at the start of 2015 after he had served 12 years in various development roles with us.Read More
The building that would become the Samuel Kelsey Apartments was originally built as a three-story art deco building. It was the epi-center of the 1968 riots when it was severely damaged by fire. Ten years later, a District of Columbia agency that was known as the Redevelopment Land Clearance Agency awarded the property to a nearby church, the Kelsey Temple Church of God in Christ.Read More
Across much of the United States, winter weather has caused a litany of headaches. Even Southern states have been covered in ice. In WinnCompanies’ home base of Boston, more than 90 inches of snow has fallen in less than a month. It’s been a long winter for many.
Winter storms put pressure on the multifamily housing industry as well.Read More
A recent proud moment for me was seeing my son Gilbert inducted as the President of the Greater Boston Real Estate Board’s Rental Housing Association. Not only has he exceeded expectations at WinnCompanies, but he has also clearly impressed the larger real estate community. I look forward to seeing what he accomplishes in this role.Read More
In recent weeks, WinnCompanies has seen some exciting changes in the leadership. Effective January 1st, 2015, my son Gilbert has assumed the title and responsibilities of CEO, stepping into the role of Sam Ross, who retired on the first of this year.
I’m sure it will come as no surprise that nothing gives me more pleasure than to hand the reins to my son. What father would not want to be in a position to do so? But, there’s a compelling story here that goes well beyond father / son pride.
When I started WinnCompanies more than 40 years ago, I founded it on a few key principles and values. The company would:Read More
Development in Boston is booming. As city officials approve new units by the thousands, it’s critical that developers collaborate closely with community groups and residents to gain valuable insights on the fabric of the community. This leads to housing that serves the needs to existing residents while attracting new ones.
In the Dorchester Reporter, I explain how WinnCompanies’ “residents first” philosophy has served Boston’s largest neighborhood well over the last 20 years:Read More
A shining star in the WinnCompanies portfolio is the redevelopment of Mission Main, a former public housing development in Boston’s Mission Hill neighborhood. Arthur Winn and his development team were pioneers in their effort to actively involve the residents throughout the process and ensure all their needs were met while inspiring them to help in the creation of a safe community. Together Arthur, his partners, and the tenants were able to successfully implement Boston’s first HOPE VI development.
Twenty-five years ago, this development was one of the most troubled and crime-ridden of Boston Housing Authority (BHA) properties. Originally completed in 1940, Mission Main was a “superblock” of three 38-story structures. There was little parking and maintenance issues abounded.Read More
Twenty years ago, Arthur Winn and WinnCompanies became valuable members of the Roxbury and Dorchester communities as managers of the Washington Park Apartments. Today, he and Winn’s partners reaffirmed their dedication to the community, to working with area non-profits, and to the furthering of important minority workforce engagement goals with the ribbon cutting of Washington Park Apartments, a 96 unit scattered site affordable housing renovation project.
"It is a privilege partnering with the WinnCompanies as I have for the last four years," said Darryl Settles, President of WiSe Urban Development. "Their leadership and commitment to excellence and the community has been and is top notch. Arthur Winn, the founder, has built an unbelievably strong team that pushes everyone to do their best and to best that. This has been such a great experience for me and allows me to channel the same effort into my work. Furthermore, our partnership has pushed the envelope when it comes to minority participation of a development project. This success should be a model for leveraging the resources of for-profit companies and nonprofits with a shared commitment to revitalizing urban neighborhoods and affordable housing preservation and development, led by community based partners. For this, I thank Arthur Winn, as he was the visionary behind this effort.”Read More
It’s easy to lose focus on what the real estate industry is all about. In the talk of square footage and quality of the amenities, it’s critical to remember what’s at stake when working in this industry: the lives of the individuals and families who live in these communities.Read More