As Managing Partner of Accordia Partners (AP), Kirk Sykes combines his professional training and hands-on experience in the areas of development, design and construction to create customized responses to the complex issues of urban real estate development. His approach is grounded in the bottom-line driven perspective gained during his tenure as a director of The Federal Reserve Bank, Capital Crossing Bank REIT Board, Fleet Bank and BankBoston’s First Community Bank Advisory Boards and various other for-profit and non-profit board affiliations. His combination of business and community-based experience allow him to bridge the competing concerns that sometimes block urban projects from moving forward. His specialty is the creation of urban mixed-use developments.
Mr. Sykes began his urban development portfolio in 1988 with the development of several mixed-use and residential properties on Massachusetts Avenue and St. Botolph Street in Boston’s South End. In the early nineties one of his developments, Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, gained national recognition. This national prototype for urban development was one of the first examples of a non-governmental development team being granted eminent domain capacity to develop large tracks of vacant land in Boston as workforce housing. This project was backed by numerous public sector and private sector entities including the Ford Foundation. Mr. Sykes personal involvement in the Dudley Street Initiative was the development of a 40-unit townhouse complex known as Winthrop Estates. Winthrop Estates caused Mr. Sykes to become keenly aware of the opportunities and challenges associated with attracting and retaining families to the inner city.
In 1998, Mr. Sykes became a key member of the team designated to develop Boston’s largest development site, the Boston State Hospital a $100M Public Private Partnership comprised of 523 housing units, 50% affordable and 50% workforce housing, 153 affordable rental units, 287 homes for sale, 83 Affordable rental apartments for seniors. The site totals 163 acres including several developable parcels and an adjacent parcel of protected lands that comprises an Urban Wildlife Sanctuary and is the largest developable parcel of land within the Boston city limits. The basis for development was a land disposition agreement granted by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and supported by the City of Boston. The former Boston State Hospital Site was subsequently acquired as an investment by Urban Strategy America Fund.
In 2000 Kirk Sykes submitted an unsolicited response to develop Crosstown Center, a project that was representative of the future of urban hospitality, retail and commercial districts. This $150M Public Private Partnership totals 885,000 sf and includes a 175 key hotel, 280k sf office/dry lab, 58k sf retail and a 1200 car garage. The tenants include Hilton, Boston University and Brigham & Women’s Hospital. The development leverages the site’s location, at the edge of the economic heart of the City, and its regional access to attract national credit retail tenants, hotel patrons and office users. The location and character of the development contributes to the economic development in the abutting communities, creating jobs for youth and the urban middle class. Crosstown Center implements transition-to-employment programs and creates 800 permanent new jobs and 200 construction jobs, $21 million and $27 million respectively, in annual payroll. The jobs created will directly benefit empowerment zone residents. These community benefits levered $17 million in public equity and $50 million of tax-exempt bond issuance for the project, which won the 2003 Brownfields and Environmental Project of the Year.