Renee Kirscht Rascher, the new senior vice president of development operations at United Properties, said some 50 projects around the country that she is overseeing for the Minneapolis-based developer are advancing without pandemic-related delays.
That includes RBC Gateway, the 37-story tower retail, office, hotel and condo project under construction at Washington and Hennepin avenues that is to be completed in 2022.
“The Gateway is a huge project with so many laborers and people on site that we’ve been lucky to have a contractor that’s made it their priority to keep that site safe,” Kirscht Rascher said. “They’re starting to get a lot of runway on commitments for the condos and are excited about the finishes for the hotel and getting all of that solidified.”
Other projects, from mixed use to senior housing, commercial, industrial and office are progressing in stages from “pursuit,” to under construction to having tenants move in, Kirscht Rascher said. That applies from Minnesota to Florida and Colorado, where United Properties has a Denver office. The company announced in April that it’s opening an office in Austin, Texas.
At United Properties, Kirscht Rascher is responsible for ensuring successful execution of development projects in coordination with development market leaders.
“What’s interesting about this whole COVID thing is a whole lot of us thought there were going to be some negative impacts as it relates to labor and materials,” Kirscht Rascher said. “So far we’ve been really lucky that our projects have not been affected by delays, cases or incidents or anything like that.”
Kirscht Rascher joined United Properties after 24 years at NTH Inc., where she most recently was principal and senior project manager for the Minneapolis-based real estate and project-management firm.
Kirscht Rascher “has a proven track record of exceeding budget expectations and managing decisions in critical project milestones, and I think she is going to be a very strong addition to our team,” Bill Katter, president and chief investment officer of United Properties Development, said in a statement.
Kirscht Rascher has a bachelor of fine arts degree in interior design and a bachelor of science degree in construction management from the University of Wisconsin-Stout.
Q: What brought you to United Properties?
A: [At NTH] we had been working on a project with United Properties, and I had an opportunity to get to know some of the leaders there and to understand their culture a little more deeply. I would say the culture piece and the challenge of this role brought me to become more interested in the opportunity and then accept the offer.
Q: What was the challenge?
A: I’d been at NTH for 24 years and had been managing design and construction projects. I don’t want to say doing the same thing because every client and project is different — but stepping out of my comfort zone and finding ways to utilize the skills that I have and the strengths that I have to work to make United Properties more successful.
Q: Why did you pursue degrees in both interior design and construction management?
A: When I went through the interior design program, I thought, this is great, I love being creative. So the construction piece was balancing that creativeness with being that strategic thinker, the leader, wanting to lead projects and manage projects and the numbers piece around budget and then ultimately seeing that project to success.
Todd Nelson is a freelance writer in Lake Elmo. His e-mail is email@example.com.