Announcing the winners of the 2016 LOCUS Leadership Awards


For the past four years, LOCUS has presented our annual LOCUS Leadership Awards to developers and investors who have demonstrated exemplary commitment to public leadership, smart growth development, and furthering our mission of advocating for sustainable, walkable urban development.

We received an unprecedented number of nominations this year, and our decision was no easy task. After careful consideration, we are pleased to announce the following winners of the 2016 LOCUS Leadership Awards.

Developer of the Year

Thomas N. O’Brien, Founding Partner and Managing Director of The HYM Investment Group and LOCUS 2016 Developer of the Year

LOCUS is proud to recognize Thomas N. O’Brien, Founding Partner and Managing Director of The HYM Investment Group, as the 2016 LOCUS Developer of the Year. This award goes to a company or individual who has shown exceptional leadership in smart growth development by creating outstanding quality of projects and services, support the real estate industry through LOCUS or allied smart growth organizations, and advocated for local, state, federal policies that promote greater vibrant walkable neighborhoods for all Americans.

As the Founding Partner and Managing Director, Tom has been the force behind HYM’s focus on complicated mixed-use, transit-oriented, urban redevelopments for over 35 years. HYM’s successful track record in planning, permitting, financing, constructing and managing complicated mixed-use developments in both Boston and Cambridge has set it apart from other investors in New England.

Under Tom’s leadership, HYM is currently developing, managing, and leasing over 9.5 million square feet of mixed-use, commercial, multi-family, transit-oriented, and retail projects in Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville, MA, including the redevelopment of the Government Center Garage in the heart of downtown historic Boston. This project transformed a blighted 1960’s relic of Boston’s urban renewal into a dynamic new destination in a thriving 24-hour neighborhood. The project removed 60 percent of the above-grade garage to create a vibrant, engaging public plaza and unlock a central urban view corridor that had been blocked for 55 years. The redevelopment is uniquely designed to utilize a strategic phasing mechanism to reconnect some of Boston’s most established neighborhoods.

In addition to smart growth projects, Tom has served as a Chairman of the Greater Boston Real Estate Board, and currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway. Tom and HYM give back to their community by supporting organizations like the Boys & Girls Club of Dorchester, A Better City, Boston Harbor Island Alliance, and the American Diabetes Association.

Company of the Year

Continuum Partners, LOCUS 2016 Company of the Year

We are proud to recognize Continuum Partners as the 2016 LOCUS Company of the Year. Based in Denver, CO, Continuum is dedicated to projects that transform the community, and create lasting value for the citizens who live there. Mark Falcone, Founder and CEO, started the company as a young visionary advocating for transit-oriented development, public health, and sustainable development. Since its creation, Continuum has completed over two dozen significant projects, each driven by the company’s values and philosophy of doing quality projects that improve the lives of the community.

In 2014, Continuum Partners, along with fellow master developer East West, opened the doors to Denver Union Station Transit Center, a $500 million, mixed-use project that transformed 19.5-acre’s of abandoned rail yard into an inviting urban center. The new Union Station accommodates multiple modes of transportation, including pedestrian and bicycle traffic, light rail, bus, and passenger rail facilities, all comfortably integrated with shops, restaurants, a boutique hotel and inviting public spaces. Continuum Partners continues to work on projects that are truly transformative, and that greatly improve the quality of life for residents, tourists, and the broader community.

Richard Baron Affordable Housing Award

Each year the Richard Baron Award is given to an outstanding developer working to build attainable housing and ensure equitable outcomes. We are proud to present the 2016 LOCUS Richard Baron Affordable Housing Award to multiple winners this year: Janelle Chan, Executive Director of the Asian Community Development Corporation (Asian CDC) and Maria Barrientos, Kristin Ryan, and Gabe Grant, Advisory Committee members of the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda.

Since its founding, the Asian CDC has pioneered the use of creative placemaking practices to create and sustain vibrant neighborhoods. In 2015, the Asian CDC completed One Greenway, a mixed-use, sustainable housing development located in Boston’s Chinatown that includes 363 affordable units within walking distance of public transportation, neighborhood retail, and community space. The project restored Hudson Street to a vibrant residential community after it was destroyed in the 1950’s. Over the summer, the organization also completed the rehabilitation of Tremont Village, a capital improvements project that renovated 20 public housing units to ensure that low-income families and long-time residents can continue to live in Chinatown.

The Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda was created as a result of a 2014 initiative by Mayor Edward Murray of Seattle, WA to increase housing accessibility and affordability in the city. Maria Barrientos, Kristin Ryan, and Gabe Grant are three residential real estate developers working on the Agenda who helped to negotiate Seattle’s affordable housing “grand bargain”, a recommendation to require new housing developments include affordable units, and that commercial developments contribute fees towards affordable housing. As the key recommendation among more than 50 HALA recommendations, the grand bargain would not have been possible without the dedicated, intelligent, and persuasive leadership of Maria, Gabe, and Kristin.

Honorable Mention

As we mentioned earlier, we received an unprecedented number of nominations for this year’s Leadership Awards. This process introduced us to some great developers and projects from across the county, and two in particular stood out as worth mentioning.

We are pleased to honor William Mosher of Trammell Crow Company with a 2016 LOCUS Developer of the Year Honorable Mention. As a leader in sustainable real estate development, Trammell Crow recognizes that prudent environmental stewardship is a fundamental social and ethical corporate responsibility. Their expertise and commitment to environmental sustainability can be seen in redevelopment projects like the Olde Town Arvada Transit Center, Denver Union Station Multi-Modal Transportation Complex, and Denver Health and Hospital Authority.

With over 30 years of experience, Bill is an expert in the planning, managing, and developing of urban real estate. Under his leadership as Senior Managing Director, the Denver office of Trammell Crow continues the company’s pursuit of excellence on many new and critical smart growth initiatives.

Finally, we are proud to recognize EYA with a 2016 LOCUS Company of the Year Honorable Mention. A company based in Bethesda, MD that specializes in walkable, residential communities and mixed-use development, EYA has embodied the spirit of walkable, urban development for over 20 years. During that time EYA has built almost 40 walkable urban neighborhoods in the DC metropolitan area, including Chelsea Heights, Chancellor’s Row, Westside at Shady Grove Metro, and Capital Quarter. While homebuilding is EYA’s primary business, building sustainable neighborhoods is the company’s passion.

Congratulations to all of this year’s award winners and honorable mentions. Thomas O’Brien, Continuum Partners, Janelle Chan, Maria Barrientos, Kristin Ryan, Gabe Grant, William Mosher, and EYA each embody LOCUS’s spirit and mission, and we are very proud to present them with this year’s awards. Congratulations to you all!

Join the Awards ceremony

The LOCUS Leadership Awards will be presented on June 14, 2016 as part of the 2016 LOCUS Leadership Summit in Boston, MA. The Summit will bring together real estate developers, investors, and public officials from across the country for high-level networking and peer-to-peer education. Be there for the awards ceremony by registering for the Summit today: