News for the Hospitality Executive
Boston’s Liberty Hotel Developer Richard L. Friedman Recognized
for Adaptive Reuse of the Former Charles Street Jail
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.- June 16, 2008 - As Boston’s Liberty Hotel readies to celebrate its first year as one of America’s most stunning and inspired adaptive “reuse” developments, its lead developer Richard L. Friedman has been awarded, on behalf of the project’s team, the prestigious Massachusetts Historical Commission Preservation Award for Adaptive Reuse of the former Charles Street Jail. Received on May 29, 2008, the award is one of several accolades for the jail-turned-luxury-hotel. Other awards and nominations include the Boston Preservation Alliance’s Preservation Achievement Award for Significant Renovation and Restoration and recognition by the Urban Land Institute Awards of Excellence (short list) and the Americas Lodging Investment Summit, Development of the Year (finalist).
Where there are historic but degenerated buildings, Friedman sees unlimited potential. The renowned real estate developer and investor has made a career out of taking challenging sites and transforming them – with dogged determination, significant investment, and visionary creativity — into sparkling, reuse developments that revitalize historic assets and help churn tax revenue back into local economies.
Friedman is celebrated for his vision, humor, creativity and financial acumen. He is well-known for his ability to secure financing for hotel projects, even in turbulent financial markets. For example, just two months after 9/11, he secured multi-million-dollar financing for a new hotel in Brookline’s Coolidge Corner. In his 30+ years in commercial real estate development, Friedman has worked on complex urban solutions and public-private partnerships with public agencies such as the Boston Redevelopment Authority, Massachusetts Port Authority, San Francisco Redevelopment Authority, Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, and the planning departments of several cities across the nation.
President and CEO of Carpenter & Company, Inc., a Cambridge, MA-based firm, Friedman first became interested in real estate and urban planning in the mid-60’s when he worked part-time in the field as a retail leasing broker in a firm in which his father, AR Friedman, had worked for many decades.
After graduating from Dartmouth College in 1963, Friedman, an avid and talented ski racer, followed his love for the sport and went on to become Harvard’s Ski Coach from 1965-1971 while simultaneously beginning his real estate career with the Carpenter firm. By the early ‘70s he had bought the firm from its former owners and was working full-time in Boston’s growing market.
He became a specialist at retail leasing and negotiated hundreds of leases for highly successful companies such as Ann Taylor and the Gap, traveling the country representing these early stage high growth retailers.
Chicago billionaire A.N. Priztker became his mentor and introduced Friedman to the business of hotel development and they went on to develop three Hyatt Regency hotels from Texas to Boston.
After developing the Hyatt Regency Cambridge in the early 1970s, he learned about an empty lot in Harvard Square vacated by the Regional Transit Authority. With another billionaire partner, Henry Hillman of Pittsburgh, the 300-room, landmark Charles Hotel was developed.
This award-winning property was one of the earliest true mixed-use projects, combining a hotel, office space, condos and retail. Over the last 20+ years and over ten refinancings, Friedman remains the driving force and patron behind this award-winning project.
Since then, Carpenter & Company Inc. has devoted most of its resources to the development of hotels, mixed-use projects and retail properties. A few of the company’s hotel projects include the 42-story St. Regis Hotel adjacent to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the 600-guest room Logan Airport Hilton in Boston and the 790-guestroom Westin Boston Waterfront. Typical retail developments include Wheaton Town Square in suburban Chicago and Westport Shops in Connecticut.
In 2000, Friedman was appointed by former President Bill Clinton as Chairman of the National Capital Planning Commission, the federal government’s urban planning agency in charge of all the master planning, monuments, and parklands in the D.C. and its metro area. In addition, he organized the Interagency Security Task Force for Washington. This task force works with the U.S. Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security and others to improve street security in Washington while preserving democratic values and urban development. He remains a consultant to the task force.
Friedman currently serves on numerous business and civic boards of directors including the NYSE-listed Gatehouse Media, which is one of America’s largest owners of newspapers and local websites, and the enormously successful Steppingstone Foundation, which assists primarily minority students in reaching their higher education goals. Friedman has for years been politically active and was the National Finance Co-Chairman for U.S. Senator Christopher J. Dodd’s (D-Conn) 2007 Presidential Campaign.
Friedman has been a guest lecturer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's
Center for Real Estate, Harvard Business School, Harvard Graduate School
of Design, and Boston Architectural Center.
Nancy Friedman, 212-228-1500
|Also See:||Boston's Charles Street Jail to be Reborn as The Liberty Hotel, Stuart Meyerson Named General Manager / October 2006|