After a long career in the construction supply business, Anthony Lauto formed construction advisory firm Lauto Group Logic Inc. because – as he saw it – there were so many great projects that fell short of their true potential. Lauto says the extensive knowledge he had built up over the years of construction materials and other supplies meant he could see examples of developers and builders working so hard to get the job done that they couldn’t possibly find the required additional time to bring the project to an even higher level of form, function and performance, and he wanted to change that. 

“It’s the reason I started this entire endeavor,” he says. “Too often, project deadlines, filing and inspection protocols, and overall jobsite pressures end up causing stakeholders to take the path of least resistance to achieve completion. My involvement in a project allows me tap my product knowledge, alternative strategies, experience and relationships to maximize the true potential of the project.” 

In the past 20 years, the face of government-subsidized housing has changed dramatically. Complexes once characterized by blight, crime and economic segregation are now transforming into mixed-use, affordable housing developments with a cross-section of residents with different income levels.

JHM Development has played a large role in this transition within its home state of Connecticut since forming in 1991. “Several years ago, we determined that public housing authorities had been in a position where they were developing and maintaining housing for individuals of low incomes that were, in my opinion, in poorly located areas. In addition, they struggled with maintaining units because of a lack of operating resources,” says John McClutchy, president of the Stamford, Conn.-headquartered JHM Group of Companies, of which JHM Development is an affiliate. “We’ve been successful working with public housing authorities to go in and either take over or joint venture with them to redevelop their existing properties.”

Homes are gathering places, and the best designs facilitate that function. Whether stunning McMansions or smaller, more energy-efficient single-family structures do that better is still being decided in the marketplace, but Arlington Designer Homes’ President Andrew Moore is betting on the latter.

“After the Great Recession, you’re building different kinds of houses than you were in 2005,” Moore observes. “Part of that is building smaller houses. I don’t know if I’m ahead of the curve or missed the curve, but we just got a contract to buy a spec house we built that is 3,500 square feet – smaller than other spec houses on the market. I made the decision to build a smaller, more energy-efficient house. We’ve spent the time and effort to organize the space in a more efficient manner so it feels like 4,000 or 4,500 square feet even though it has less square footage.”

There’s the old real estate saying, “location, location, location.” But while some companies may take the adage under advice, real estate management and development company GFO Companies truly lives it. “We want to buy real estate that’s in really great locations, and if you can execute the plan, the location itself will make it undeniable,” Managing Director and part-owner Rohan Gupta says. “If we can buy great locations, we’ll figure out how to make the real estate work.”

Gupta, his brother, Rohit Gupta, and their partner, Aman Aggarwal, have spent the past decade abiding by that model as they transition their father’s real estate company into a flexible firm able to thrive in the post-recession era. Kulbushan “Joe” Gupta was a native of India who immigrated to the United States when he formed Gupta Family Office (GFO) and began buying small motels in the 1970s. 

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