Collaboration Powers Private Development Success

Private development projects are a combination of diverse components that need to work together seamlessly. GAI VP and Director of Private Development Kathy Leo, PE describes how joining minds and skills makes the difference for building smarter solutions.  

“Great things in business are never done by one person, they’re done by a team of people.”

Steve Jobs

I’m often asked what makes GAI different. Simply put, it is our approach and our people. For example, just the other day one of GAI’s Construction Inspection specialists came to me to seek help in analyzing a condition in the field. While consultations like this are typical of the way we operate at GAI, this simple cross-discipline interaction illustrates one of the great values that our clients have come to expect: a collaborative approach to projects that joins minds and skills, and enables us to communicate instantaneously, adapt nimbly, and work efficiently.

Collaboration + experience drives value for private development clients

Private development projects are a combination of diverse components that need to work together seamlessly. For this reason, a range of disciplines will often be in the room at a GAI project kickoff meeting. But beyond presenting a range of specialists including planners, transportation engineers, landscape architects, financial specialists, and more, GAI’s true value shines in the depth of expertise and experience we offer.

GAI client meetings often bring our company’s most experienced professionals to the table. Just last week, a meeting brought together GAI Sr. Director Pete Sechler, VP Bob Schanck, Sr. Director Frank Bellomo, and myself to kick off a development project. Highly qualified contributors collaborate to lay the groundwork for a complete and cohesive solution, focusing decades of experience on a project’s formative phases.

Joining perspectives and skills leads to sustainable solutions

Development projects collaborationMy specialty is private development, yet the projects I lead will often incorporate significant input from our civil engineering group if such collaboration will help realize the best possible outcome. And often a given group may be great at creating a high-quality set of plans, but may need support from the private development side in making highly technical concepts understandable to clients. We don’t create unnecessary divisions when collaboration will help us deliver the best work possible. Our groups work hand-in-hand, and at the end of the day we all really care deeply about what a project will look like—it’s about building legacies and creating places that are going to be around forever.

I’m very proud of the value we bring to our clients through the thoughtful collaboration that takes place at GAI. Whether it is the look of the streetscape in harmony with the drainage, or the connectivity of the transportation network with parcel development, each technical specialist knows how his or her work fits into the bigger picture, and each contribution becomes part of a smarter total solution.

Be sure to check out Kathy Leo’s previous blog “Where are Real Estate Development Trends Heading in 2018?” for her insight into identifying emerging private development markets and project types.

Contact Kathy Leo, PE, 321.319.3095, for more information about GAI’s infrastructure services for private development.


Kathy LeoGAI Vice President Kathy Leo serves as Director of Private Development within GAI’s Infrastructure group. With more than 25 years of experience, she has extensive background in the private, public, and federal markets, with specialization in the private sector.

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