This is the conclusion of a two-part interview with Jeremy Hudson, Partner and CEO of Specialized Real Estate Group. Read Part I.
As the new owners of what would become Eco Modern Flats, Jeremy Hudson and his team at Specialized Real Estate Group knew that the property needed a major overhaul in order to improve the aesthetics and efficiency of the investment. SREG quickly determined that it would take a collaboration of professionals from varying specialties to make the project complete.
Hudson says his company consulted with a group in Little Rock to assess the property and assist with a redevelopment plan. Through this process, he learned about the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification program and what it would take to create a healthier, more sustainable living environment. “When I started learning about what LEED is and what real sustainability is, it really made a lot of sense to me,” says Hudson.
Through the planning process, Hudson realized that individual health can be affected by the way a property is built, managed and maintained. Because he suffered from asthma as a child, he was able to envision the impact of the health benefits being planned for the property. “I want to own and manage, and be responsible for healthy stuff,” he notes.
What the team learned while developing Eco Modern Flats would become a road map for developing and redeveloping other projects. Hudson now jokes about his feelings on improving that project because he didn’t realize that what they were doing was unique in property development at that time. “I felt like there’s no reason why you have to choose profit over what’s good for the occupants or the environment,” he says.
Hudson credits the success of the Eco Modern Flats project to hiring the right consultants to help in areas where his team lacked expertise. The result of that collaboration was a redevelopment plan that focused on four major areas: health, efficiency, conservation of land and water and creating community. In many multifamily properties, occupants tend to be isolated from neighbors and common area spaces. Because of this trend, Hudson says he felt there was a need for a true community feel, including interaction with neighbors. The goal was to provide a type of urban housing that was energy efficient and safe, while providing desirable amenities for those occupants who wanted a lifestyle free of home ownership. “You could create a better lifestyle, and at the same time, you would create a better investment with good retention,” he says.
The redevelopment of Eco Modern Flats became a way for the company to test some ideas on visual aesthetics, efficiency and environment. In the process, SREG determined that there is a demand for this type of luxury property and that it was doing the right thing by making responsible choices to protect health and sustainability.
SREG has gone on to use the LEED planning process in all of the properties it has developed since that project. There is always a collaboration between ownership, design and construction to set project goals for each property. “Sustainability has absolutely been something we’ve carried forward,” says Hudson. “And health has become even more integral to how we think.”
In fact, the theme of healthy community is the focal point of the company’s website. Hudson believes having that online visual lets people know how important it is to his company. Hudson goes on to explain that there is now more research and resources available that prove a connection between design, planning and air quality than when they set out to redevelop Eco. Because of this, he knows that the work they are doing will have a long-term impact on future generations. “I want to look back on my career and know that I contributed to a healthier place to live,” he adds. Hudson says that the process used in developing Eco has expanded and evolved, but the same basic values exist for new properties. SREG continues to focus on putting people, planet and prosperity at the forefront of each project.
Learn more about Specialized Real Estate Group, and view their portfolio of properties, by visiting them online at www.specializedreg.com.