BRINGING BEAUTY to building By STEVE BURKS
or Jorge Pérez, art is more than just things that can fill up walls and rooms or add color to spaces that beg for more color. The Related Group’s chairman, CEO and co-founder views art as a vital part of his life and his business empire. “I’m a big art collector, so I believe that transferring that beauty into the buildings that we do improves not just the building, but people’s lives,” said Pérez. “That is something that separates us from the rest of the developers.” Pérez and Related Group announced in late November that they were planning on investing roughly $500 million on residential projects in the Phoenix market. While the precise locations of those projects was not quite ready to be released to the public, Pérez said they will be in downtown Phoenix, downtown Tempe, downtown Scottsdale and in the Deer Valley submarket. His plan is to have three projects underway in 2019, with the fourth close behind. Related Group is renowned for best of class condominium and apartment complexes. That reputation was earned over more than 30 years of operations which began in Miami and have now spread around the globe. Related Group projects are at the forefront of architectural innovation and design. No two projects are alike, as Pérez challenges his company to make each project better than the last. “We take each site individually and say, ‘what are we going to deliver here and how is it going to be unique, not just for the sake of being unique, but unique for the sake of being better,’ “ Pérez said. “We don’t deliver projects, we help neighborhoods become better.”
16 | January-February 2019
At the heart of Related Group projects is original artwork. Related Group has two, full-time curators in art director Patricia M. Hanna and curatorial associate Anelys Alvarez. They have curated a corporate collection of more than 500 pieces, which is constantly changing as they acquire new art and place art in Related’s projects. Works by Fernando Botero, Jaume Plensa, Julio LeParc and Fabian Burgos are proudly displayed at Related developments, complementing each building’s unique character and often serving as public fixtures of the community landscape. Pérez said his company seeks out contemporary artwork from around the world for its projects, which is something that very few developers do. “I go out and look at some beautiful jobs and all of the sudden I see prints that you can buy for $10 up on the walls,” Pérez said. “Not only do we bring art into the building, we educate the tenants about the art. We publish books called Provenance, which talk about the art, the artists, to educate people as to why we’re spending the kind of money that we’re spending for art in their buildings.” Related Group not only spends money on finding art for its buildings, it spends large amounts of money on large murals for the exterior of its buildings. Some of the more recent examples of large murals on Related projects are the Icon Midtown in Atlanta, and the SLS Brickell and the Brickell Heights building, both in Miami. Atlanta artist Hense was commissioned to paint a 95-feet, by 65-feet mural on the Icon Midtown. At SLS Brickell, German artist Markus
This issue shows examples of how the commercial real estate industry is evolving as it grows, from high-tech building techniques by one of t...