Virtual Panel Discussion: Rethinking Placemaking

Abstract design with headshots of each of the panelists

*This lecture will be ONLINE ONLY. For security reasons, virtual attendees must register. Scroll down to find complete instructions for how to register.

Event Description

Placemaking is becoming a powerful engine of value creation in the real estate industry – not limited to monetary value, but values that benefit beyond the traditional players of developers and investors. In other words, we shouldn’t merely see placemaking as a strategy for higher premiums and product differentiation, nor should we see it as social responsibility that can only be achieved at the cost of developers and investors. Instead, a more sustainable way would be creating shared value through the practice of placemaking.

More questions arise: How can we capture the value of experience in different segments of the real estate industry? What makes for a good (and bad) placemaking project? Are there important conflicts and tradeoffs? How do we measure the shared value created? And, in the current context of the Covid-19 pandemic, how will social-distancing measures adopted around the world affect new ways of human interaction and the conception of placemaking projects?

This panel will address these questions through the lens of design, construction, data, urban planning, economic development, investment, and more. The panel is organized by Grace Chee (MArch I ‘21) and Zhou Xu (MAUD ‘20) and presented The Real Estate and Development Club of the Graduate School of Design and The Real Estate Club of Harvard Business School as the part of the Harvard Real Estate Weekend 2020 originally scheduled for March 7-8, which was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. For more information or inquiries, please contact Grace Chee at [email protected].

How to Join

*This lecture will be ONLINE ONLY. For security reasons, virtual attendees must:

  1. Have a Zoom account. Members of the Harvard community who have not yet set up their Zoom account can follow the instructions here. Guests without a Zoom account can set one up for free at
  2. Register to attend the lecture here. Once you have registered, you will be provided with a link to join the lecture via Zoom. This link will also be emailed to you.

A recording of the panel discussion will be available online at the Harvard Real Estate Review after the event. Only viewers who are attending the lecture via Zoom will be able to submit questions for the Q+A.


Michael Bisordi  (Moderator)


Michael Bisordi is the owner of Tungsten Partners, a private holdings company based in New York which has ownership interests in over 30 companies in industries such as hospitality, consumer products, wellness, art and fashion. Until recently divesting, Tungsten was the longest standing owner in the Ace Hotel brand, focusing on business development and acquisitions as well as brand and restaurant partnerships. Tungsten is currently engaged in ongoing placemaking retainers for the retail and ground plane for a combined 10-12 million square feet in the Hudson Square neighborhood in New York as well as in San Francisco. Placemaking clients include Hines, Trinity Church Wall Street, Norges Bank, Brookfield, Hullmark and Boston Properties. Cities where Tungsten has been recently engaged for placemaking include New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Toronto, Houston and Atlanta. Tungsten is also selectively producing boutique hotels in Austin, Atlanta and in the Hudson Valley of New York. After graduation from Cornell University, Arts & Sciences, Michael spent over six years split between the Global Real Estate Finance group at Lehman Brothers and, following that, on the Global Acquisitions team at Starwood Capital Group, with a focus on Europe.

Warren Hagist


Warren Hagist is an Assistant Vice President in the Real Estate group at the New York City Economic Development Corporation, where he works with the private sector to develop city-owned land as a way of meeting public policy goals. Prior to NYCEDC, Warren worked at an international development consulting firm. He holds a Masters in Urban Planning from Harvard Graduate School of Design and a BA in Environmental Studies from Northeastern University.

Jeppe Hein

Visual Artist

Questioning the ritualistic relationship between art and the spectator, Jeppe Hein creates witty and minimalist installations that intervene with both indoor and outdoor spaces, deliberately blurring the boundaries between conceptual art and mechanical objects. Combining sculpture and installation with architecture and technology, he mixes the notion of the functional with the artistic and by setting up a dialogue between the work, the viewer and the site of intervention, he suggests that the audience contributes to the completion of the work. Whilst his style refers to minimalism, and to abstract concepts, he also tries to depart from an abstract experience by making the audience physically activate the work.

In addition to solo exhibitions at various leading museums, Jeppe’s participatory installations have been exhibited at numerous notable international exhibitions, including the Giardini installation at the Venice Biennale (2019), Central Park (2019), and the Brooklyn Bridge Park (2015-2016). Participants may also be familiar with his 2016 installation of A New End at World’s End in Hingham, MA.

Aaron Jodka


As the Managing Director of Research & Client Services, Mr. Jodka oversees all aspects of Colliers’ Client Service offerings, including Research, Marketing, Graphics, Financial Analysis, Lease Administration, and Client Service Coordination. Aaron ensures that brokers are providing superior service and deliverables to existing and potential clients. Aaron also pushes the Colliers brand via best-in-class research reports, thought leadership, and contributions to numerous panels, media, and industry events throughout the city.

Aaron’s team and himself manage the information and intelligence in their proprietary database, which, dating from the late 1980s, includes detailed property statistics on nearly 220 million SF of office and lab properties in the Greater Boston area. They also track more than 150 million SF of industrial properties in the market.

Before joining Colliers, Aaron spent 11 years with Property & Portfolio Research (PPR), now CoStar Portfolio Strategy. There, Aaron advised institutional clients on their commercial real estate investment strategies across property sectors.

Dixi Wang


Dixi Wang focuses on mixed-use developments in urban core and transit- oriented areas where making positive contributions to neighborhoods and communities in an advisory role. Having worked both real estate finance and urban planning, she embraces urban context of each real estate development and seeks to maximize development value while integrating art and green space into the public realm, promoting quality spaces via street retail activation, walkability, amenities and green space. She’s involved in several mixed-use, multifamily, hotel and office complex developments for over $1 billion total development cost in the US. Prior to real estate, she practiced urban planning at Wallace Roberts & Todd and landscape architecture at SWA Group for apartment, condo, high-end lifestyle retail, luxury hotel and resorts developments in the US, Middle East and Asia. Dixi Wang is a committee member of National Commercial Real Estate Development Association and holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from The University of Georgia.

Victor Sanchez


Victor Sanchez serves as Director of Construction and Development for Goldman Properties. He has been an integral part of Goldman Properties revitalization efforts in Wynwood, where he managed and self-performed some of the most iconic projects in the district, including Wynwood Walls, The Wynwood Building, Light Box at Goldman Warehouse, and The Wynwood Garage among others.  Victor currently serves as Chairman of the Wynwood Design Review Committee as well as on the advisory board for the University of Miami school of Engineering Masters in Construction Management program. He received B Arch from University of Miami and MSRED from Columbia University.

Anyone requiring accessibility accommodations should contact the Public Programs Office at (617) 496-2414 or [email protected].