Ronette (Ronnie) Slamin graduated in June 2017 with master’s degrees in Real Estate Development and City Planning from MIT. There her focuses were on mixed-income housing and economic development. Before studying at MIT, Ronette worked in Boston for two years in community development at The American City Coalition (TACC). Leading planning initiatives in the Roxbury neighborhood, she created online platforms to engage residents and worked to identify developers and projects that aligned with the communities vision.
Ronette is originally from Wilmington, DE. She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from Boston College’s Carroll School of Management in 2013. She is an active member of the ULI Boston/New England’s Young Leaders Group (YLG).
- As a recent graduate of the Master in Real Estate Program at MIT, you are newly minted in your role at Joseph J. Corcoran Company (JJC). What projects are you working on and how is it shaping your approach to development?
Right now, we are working on One Charlestown, and projects in Chelsea and Amesbury. All of our projects focus on creating mixed-income communities, and some involve replacing affordable units 1-for-1. Rather than relying on LITHC and other limited resources, we focus on attracting private market financing to support the construction of affordable units as well as market rate units. This allows us to reduce our reliance on federal and state funds and speeds up the financing process. Our structure has influenced me to approach development with a private financing mindset to tackle affordable and workforce housing problems.
2. Why did you choose a career in CRE?
During my time at Boston College, I went on a summer service trip to Jamaica. I was shocked by the dilapidated buildings and poor infrastructure in areas less frequented by tourists. Coincidentally, that fall, I had already signed up to take a class called Real Estate and Urban Action taught by Joe E. Corcoran. When I realized real estate could solve housing issues like the ones I had seen in specific areas on the island, it was a no-brainer for me to choose a career in CRE. It helped that my previous experience in marketing and events planning were easily transferable.
3. Boston’s skyline is changing rapidly, what projects have caught your eye and why?
Well besides our projects, I’ve been keeping an eye on the Fenway Center Development and the East Boston waterfront. I find Fenway Center to be an interesting project because of its complexity – building over the MassPike and the 10-year entitlement process involving air rights. Projects on the East Boston waterfront appeal to me for aesthetic reasons. Obviously, the views of downtown Boston are amazing, and I love the way the buildings open up to the water allowing for activation of the public spaces. I can’t wait to see how Boston will look in 2030.
4. Why ULI?
I was encouraged to get involved in ULI at my first job, and I have been a member ever since. ULI events are great networking opportunities and a chance to get a quick download of the industry’s updates and trends. Also, I enjoy volunteering with Urban Plan. It is a very rewarding experience seeing students grasp the development concepts so quickly and how they bring their contextual experience to the development and planning process.
5. What are your personal and professional hopes for 2018?
My professional hopes for the year are to source new development opportunities for JJC and to work with several real estate councils in Boston to get students from diverse backgrounds interested in the field. Personally, I am still trying to catch up to Warren Buffett’s six hours of reading a day, so I made a list of 50 books and got myself a library card. I am also looking forward to trying different styles of fitness classes.