Brett Goldman on Finding Meaningful Work in Retail Real Estate

In Chapter 4 of 14 in his 2012 interview, real estate development executive Brett Goldman answers "What Makes Your Work Meaningful?"  Goldman revisits why he pursued a real estate career - to enhance streetscapes - and how his experience developing properties has followed. 

Brett Goldman is a Real Estate Acquisitions Director at Triangle Equities in New York City.  He holds a BA in General Studies from the University of Michigan and a Masters in Real Estate Development from the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation.


Erik Michielsen: What makes your work meaningful?

Brett Goldman: Well, what we do is urban shopping. And if anything, enhancing a streetscape is part of what I got into real estate for. And, you know, any of the projects that we undertake, some of them do have that element to it, some of them don't but the ones that we do are actually having an effect on places. For example, the project that we built on Flatbush and Nostrand, in Brooklyn. It really extended this retail quarter that had kind of ended right before our project site, it extended it, you know, a couple hundred more feet because we brought a new anchor to the neighborhood. And what you see now, when you go there, it just changes people's patterns, and if you can change people's patterns and kind of elongate a retail area then it just brings more liveliness to a neighborhood, and bringing more liveliness to a neighborhood makes it more attractive and thus increases property values. And that's kind of what I got into real estate to do. 

Erik Michielsen: And is it working out as you'd expected?

Brett Goldman: Yes and no. As I said, some projects have that element to it and some don't. Sometimes you're building shopping centers and with, you know, a very suburban shopping feel with the parking lot and walking up to the shopping center which I don't think does that, it provides a necessary service and it provides a place for people to go and interact and, you know, all in all I think that retail is better than internet because it gets people out in terms of shopping.