WDC 2022 Archive


Summer Solstice Virtual Cocktail Party with Karen Krasne, Extraordinary Dessert

June 23, 2022

We continued our tradition of featuring inspiring women entrepreneurs and artisans and virtually share our inspirations and accomplishments in WDC's Summer Solstice Cocktail Party. We are delighted to feature renowned artisan pastry chef and entrepreneur, Karen Krasne of Extraordinary Desserts who hosted our San Diego program in April at her beautifully renovated patisserie in Little Italy designed by Luce et Studio. As many of us experienced first-hand, her mouth-watering desserts coupled with the exquisite building design showcase her spectacular creations. Karen Krasne has been named one of the top ten pastry chefs in the country by Forbes magazine and was a featured dessert chef at the James Beard House. In addition to discussing how she has grown her patisserie business and line of gourmet food products, she shared culinary tips from her best-selling cookbook Extraordinary Cakes: Recipes for Bold and Sophisticated Desserts.



WDC Investment Forum on Self-Directed IRAs Part 2

May 19, 2022

We learned how to invest in real estate projects and new developments by setting up one's own self-directed IRA or raise capital for own projects using other people's IRAs. The panel included experienced accountants and sponsors who walked through the process and did a deeper dive into how self-directed IRAs have been successfully used to invest in projects and fund real estate ventures. The panel was moderated by investor, asset manager and sponsor, Sonya Rocvil of Bedrock Real Estate Investors.  Renni Schioppo and Rochelle Zarett of Gettry Marcus CPA, P.C. are experienced accountants who advise clients on tax, real estate, partnerships, trusts, and/or estates, with a focus on advising closely-held companies, family-owned businesses and real estate entities. Nanci Regnier is the owner of Rebel Property Solutions, a premier real estate investment firm that specializes in single-family renovations, new construction and multifamily housing to help solve the workforce housing crisis.




Project Forum - Adaptive Reuse and OmniEcosystems Expansion

April 28, 2022

In our sixth WDC Project Forum, we advised Molly Meyer, the founder of OmniEcosystems (Omni) and her partner Kate Groninger, on the expansion of Omni’s headquarters development in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago. Located in an Opportunity Zone across from an elementary school, Omni has purchased a 2.5 acre site and historically rehabbed a former milk bottling plant into the headquarters for their vibrant business installing and maintaining innovative green roofing systems focused on sustainability. Desiring to bring positive change to their economically disadvantaged neighborhood, Omni is seeking advice on how to redevelop the adjacent building and utilize the rest of their site acreage to create office space and a restaurant plus a showcase for their work, creating a venue that is also a community space for the neighborhood to enjoy. This session will focus on adaptive re-use, placemaking, retail lease structuring, and how to support entrepreneurial tenants.

Marty Jones  of MLJ Insights moderated the experienced panel of advisors including Robin Schabes of the Chicagoland Opportunity Zones Consortium, Kim Frentz Edmonds of Ventura Partners and Cathy Sloss Jones of Sloss Real Estate Company.




At ULI Spring Meeting: Women Transforming Downtown San Diego's Development Landscape

April 18, 2022

This San Diego program featured presentations and tours by innovative women who are transforming downtown San Diego’s development landscape. Marissa Feliciano, Director of Marketing and Communications for Jamboree Housing, kicked-off this inspiring program by introducing IQHQ’s Justine Nielsen, Senior Vice President, Development, and Fran Federman, Chief Financial Officer, who are developing IQHQ’s Research and Development District (RaDD) along the downtown waterfront. RaDD is a best-in-class, mixed-use life science district of 1.7 million square feet on an 8+ acre iconic site overlooking San Diego Bay. We then toured the RaDD project site and iconic developments throughout downtown San Diego. The program concluded with a reception at a beautifully renovated patisserie, Extraordinary Desserts owned by Chef Entrepreneur Karen Krasne, where we heard from its lead designer, Jennifer Luce, Principal Architect of Luce et Studio.




Member Only Investment Roundtable

March 3, 2022

This inspiring investment roundtable featured MSquared, a women-owned real estate development and impact investing platform that deploys capital and partners with local women and minority-led developers to build mixed-use projects that include housing affordable to a wide range of households. Alicia Glen, founder of MSquared, presented MSquared’s projects across the country and the types of future investment and development opportunities that they are seeking. Pioneering developer partners Anna Mackay and Jessy Ledesma presented Shortstack Housing, their innovative "missing middle" mass timber solution that tackles the housing shortage in Portland OR while addressing persistent industry inequities and advancing sustainable, resilient building technologies.

2022-0202-Seattle_Chophouse Row

Adaptive Reuse - Bringing new life to older buildings

Februrary 2, 2022

This lively and informative session addresses the intricacies of adaptive reuse development. Our panelists are accomplished real estate experts who represent the various professions needed to bring new life to older buildings. They presented successful strategies that address complex governmental regulations and incentives, environmental concerns, repositioning of potential uses, architectural design innovations, and creative financing options to achieve development. Our talented panel featured Seattle developer Liz Dunn, Founder of Dunn & Hobbes, Erika Stubstad, Design Director of Studio One Eleven in Long Beach, and New York attorney D Hara Perkins of Goulston & Storrs. This panel was moderated by Francesca Franchi, AIA, principal for RDC-Studio One Eleven in Virginia.