ULI Boston: Urban Retail - The Opportunity to Rethink the Street Level Experience


Thursday, October 22nd, 2020
10:00am - 11:00am EDT




Standard Pricing Until October 22 Members Non-Members
Private $25.00 $35.00
Public/Academic/Nonprofit $20.00 $30.00
Retired $20.00 N/A
Student $20.00 $30.00
Under Age 35 $20.00 $30.00
Join the Urban Development Council for an interactive discussion on reviving ground floor retail in urban areas. This program will feature Jesse Baerkahn (Graffito SP), Natalia Urtubey (City of Boston), Leah Harsfield (National Development), and Patrick Mulvihill (Boston Properties). This discussion will focus on street level experience and the necessary rethinking that it will engender. This program is sponsored by Nelson.



Jesse Baerkahn

President, Graffito SP

Jesse Baerkahn is the President and Founder of Graffito SP (“GSP”), a unique Boston-based real estate firm that operates as a strategic partner to landlords, tenants and developers focused on complex ground floor activation projects. Jesse’s multidisciplinary work at GSP combines his transactional training as an attorney and broker with lessons learned through other entrepreneurial endeavors within the real estate, arts and entertainment fields. Jesse has been working hands-on with restaurateurs, retailers, artists, makers, and other creatives in various capacities for two decades and is an outspoken advocate for real estate development strategies that embrace localism and experimentation. Jesse is currently on the Board of Directors for the Kendall Square Association, Now + There, and was previously a Board Member for the Artisan’s Asylum. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison (BA) and Northeastern University School of Law (JD).


Leah Harsfield

VP Asset Management, National Development

Leah joined National Development as an asset manager in 2013 and works on multiple product types including office, industrial, and retail. She directs leasing strategy for new acquisitions, developments and key existing assets within the commercial portfolio including managing major lease expirations and new tenant prospects. Leah coordinates with the investment team to help make key decisions based on market factors including, tenant demand, rents, costs, competitive set, end user experience and capital markets. She plays a leadership role internally and within the industry to identify new trends in retail, prop tech, merchandising, space utilization, and activation, and oversees efforts internally to integrate progressive industry trends and best practices across the ND commercial portfolio. Leah has a B.A. in Communications from The George Washington University.


Patrick Mulvihill

Vice President, Boston Properties

Patrick began his career at Boston Properties in 2007 as a Leasing Representative. He was promoted to Leasing Manager in 2012, Director in 2014, and Vice President in 2016. Patrick has been involved in many large complex office and retail deals including transactions with Putnam Investments, Wellington Management Company, Bank of America, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Arclight Cinemas, Under Armour, Eataly, and Star Market. Patrick is currently the lead leasing agent on several of Boston Properties’ newest developments including 888 Boylston Street, The Hub on Causeway, and the redevelopment and expansion of Back Bay Station. Patrick received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Babson College in 2007.


Natalia Urtubey

Director, Small Business, Mayor's Office of Economic Development / Executive Director, Imagine Boston 2030, City of Boston

As Director of Small Business, Natalia’s extensive knowledge of Boston’s neighborhoods and the small business community compliment her experience in creating growth strategies and building partnerships across community stakeholders. Natalia leads a 14-person team focused on tracking and producing research on local and national trends to inform decision making about small business development tools, coordinates with local residents and existing businesses to ensure that there is a strategic and policy-driven approach to growth without displacement, and works with residents and other City officials to remove any barriers to do business in the City of Boston. Natalia manages and oversees the distribution of the more than $3 million in small business resources under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program and the more than $3 million in investment in small business within and outside of the 20 Boston Main Streets Districts. She directs and implements Mayor Walsh’s 2016 Small Business Plan to provide coordinated service delivery and economic opportunity for Boston’s 40,000 small businesses. Previously, Natalia served as the Executive Director of Imagine Boston 2030 , working to implement the first citywide plan. She was responsible for ensuring the first planning process in more than 50 years was representative of Boston residents’ vision and concerns. In this role, Natalia was instrumental in keeping the process visible and accessible to all Bostonians. She brought community leaders together and identified opportunities for collaboration. Natalia received her Master in Public Administration from Suffolk University in 2012. Natalia is a proud homeowner in Dorchester and serves on the board for several local nonprofits, including the Dorchester YMCA, Future Chefs, and Hyde Square Task Force.

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