All-rounder always has her eyes on the wood and the trees
BY REW JULY 27, 2017
Caroline Vary’s career, based upon meaningful and socially responsible work, has spanned the course of two decades. Trained in design and architecture, Vary quickly developed the urge to create and transform properties and neighborhoods. Her guiding principles and goals were perfectly aligned with those of Jonathan Rose Companies, which made joining the developer a decade ago the right decision.
“I was drawn to this company because I was aligned with their vision; I stayed because I’ve been able to see that vision transform into reality multiple times – and our work has just begun,” said Vary.
A specialist at repositioning assets and reinvigorating communities, Vary joined Jonathan Rose Companies in 2007 and has since spent her time as a managing director at the green development and investment firm.
Her experience is vast, with a strong background in design and construction, development, project financing, asset management and leasing. “Caroline is an extraordinary and rare person, able to think strategically and see the big picture, while also focusing meticulously on getting the details right; all done with relations with her colleagues and our residents infused with compassion,” said Jonathan Rose, president, Jonathan Rose Companies.
Vary has led the development of the LEED Gold Certified Metro Green Residential development, adjacent to the Stamford Transportation Center, since the project’s inception in 2007.
If you ask her what project is most meaningful to her, she’s quick to respond, “Metro Green. This is a project that I have been involved with from almost my first day on the job. Iʼve seen the development of two phases and we are now involved in our third — and largest — chapter in the development.”
Upon completion, Metro Green Residential will include 255 mixed-income residential units.
As managing director of the Connecticut office, Vary oversaw all aspects of real estate development and construction, including: pre-development planning, due diligence activities, contract negotiations, oversight of consultants and contractors, coordination with partners as well as city and state government offices, reporting to lenders, community relations, coordination of marketing and leasing efforts and oversight of property management.
In addition to her work in Connecticut, Vary has worked on repositioning properties nationally. She has led efforts to green and re-position both commercial and residential, transit-oriented properties on behalf of the Rose Investment Practice.
While under the direction of Vary, the Connecticut office of Jonathan Rose Companies thrived, receiving an Environmental Merit Award for Outstanding Achievements in Preserving New England’s environment.
Additionally, Metro Green received national recognition via awards granted by MFE (Multi-Family Executive) and through the Connecticut chapter of the USGBC (US Green Building Council).
Vary still oversees the Connecticut office, while also increasing the amount of time she is spending in New York given the fact she has recently been named the Managing Director for the Asset Management division of Jonathan Rose Companies. Her responsibilities have been elevated and she now oversees the asset management of the firm’s entire East Coast portfolio and the implementation of green retrofits of existing buildings nationally.
In her current increased role, Vary monitors the performance, leasing and operations of investment and development properties, in a portfolio of over 4.5 million square feet of commercial and residential properties, including new construction and green retrofits.
She also plans to spend some time collaborating with JRCo’s new property management practice in a location that is near and dear to her – Cleveland. The recent acquisition of Forest City’s affordable housing portfolio, which was announced earlier this year, has created a great deal of opportunity for Jonathan Rose Companies to expand in Vary’s hometown.
When asked about what makes her excited about this recent transaction, Vary said, “This is a wonderful opportunity to do business in a city that values community building and practical environmental initiatives. Cleveland is my hometown, and it is the city that inspired me to pursue a career in urban redevelopment. I am excited to be engaged in what lies ahead for our new assets and business lines. What we have announced thus far is only the beginning.”
Exciting things are on the horizon for Cleveland and for the overall Forest City portfolio, and Vary will be taking on a considerable role where she can offer guidance and perspective.
Her work doesn’t stop at the office. Vary continues to make a difference in her own Connecticut community. She is a founding – and active – board member of the Stamford 2030 district, an initiative of property owners and community and professional partners working toward the goal of reductions in energy, water and transportation emissions related to the operations of commercial and large-scale residential buildings. Stamford is the sixth 2030 District in the Network which is comprised of leading-edge cities across North America.
She also serves on the Board of Franklin Street Works, not-for- profit contemporary art space which connects communities with artists, curators and innovative cultural producers seeking positive social change.
Vary also holds a Real Estate Broker’s License in New York and Connecticut. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Architecture with a focus on urban planning and renewal, as well as housing design from the Rhode Island School of Design.
Upon graduation, she accepted a position at F.J. Sciame Construction Co. Inc., managing high-profile, highly detailed construction projects in New York City. While she learned a great deal from the construction side, Vary aspired to be part of a real estate team.
She then joined Taconic Investment Partners, where she served as a Vice President responsible for the re-positioning of their commercial portfolio. After spending six years at Taconic, she accepted her position at Jonathan Rose Companies.
See the full article at Real Estate Weekly.