The ROI of Creative Placemaking in Real Estate Development with Nael Ashour

Dot Dot Dot: The NINE dot ARTS Podcast
Episode 42

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“Developers have to dedicate money to the areas that impact how people see and interact with their space,” says our guest Nael Ashour, CFO at NINE dot ARTS. 

If anyone can describe the ROI of creative placemaking, it’s our CFO and art-business-finance extraordinaire Nael Ashour! With a background in civil engineering in the architecture and design industry – and a former financial advisor to growing CRE firms – Nael intimately understands the economic challenges facing developers today and the importance of maximizing every dollar in a project budget. He shares how to make strategic budget allocation decisions based on the elements that will have the greatest influence on the visitor experience and the ability to differentiate. And according to our recent study of hundreds of real estate developers, the impact that art and culture has on a project’s success is nearly double its investment. This reinforces what Nael calls the key to market differentiation – “a meaningful, sensory experience that creates an emotional attachment and makes you want to come back.” 

Additionally, Nael highlights the cost-savings opportunities associated with leveraging art and culture in commercial development – on top of ROI drivers like increased foot traffic, brand recognition, and faster sales and lease ups. Nael also calls attention to the social impact and community-building benefits of creative placemaking, emphasizing a project’s art program as a direct means for giving back to local creatives and to the community at large.

Discussed in the Episode: 
Walter P. Moore
Moxy Hotel
Moxy Hotel art collection
Perry Lane Hotel
Perry Lane Hotel art collection
Halcyon Hotel
Halcyon Hotel art collection
The Dairy Block
The Dairy Block Alley art collection
Collin Parson’s “Here” mirror installation at The Dairy Block
Elizabeth Meyers at Kairoi Residential
Juanita Hardy on The NINE dot ARTS Podcast
FourPoint Energy
FourPoint Energy art collection
Artist Joshua Goss
Nael Ashour on LinkedIn

About Nael Ashour:
Nael Ashour is the Chief Financial Officer at NINE dot ARTS, where he manages our firm’s accounting and finance functions and helps to forecast future project planning. Nael was most recently a Director for Citigroup Investment Banking where he gained extensive experience executing corporate-level strategic initiatives to help companies grow and reach their full potential. He has worked with a range of stakeholders, from CEOs to debtholders to investors, to execute over $10 billion in transactions in M&A, advisory, and capital markets. Earlier in his career, Nael worked as a civil engineer in the architectural and design industry and has experience developing large-scale construction projects. He graduated from Rice University with an MBA and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. Outside the office he enjoys hiking, skiing, and experiencing the latest in culinary arts.

About Dot Dot Dot: The NINE dot ARTS Podcast
Dot Dot Dot is the continuing conversation around art and placemaking in the built environment. Hosted by NINE dot ARTS CEO Martha Weidmann, episodes explore art, culture, community, and more with a range of reputable business leaders. Tune in biweekly to learn how an original art experience can boost your business and make a social impact. Episodes are available wherever you get your podcasts!