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Featured Member Highlight: Ralph Parent–Championing Diversity & Inclusion in Real Estate Development

It gives us immense pleasure to feature Ralph Parent, Managing Partner of Parent + Diamond, in our member highlight this month. Ralph is not merely leaving footprints on Boston, Massachusetts property development scene; he's indeed rewriting the rules by promoting a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

Ralph’s unwavering dedication to his city, manifests in his tireless collaborations with established development firms to narrow disparities, encourage inclusiveness, and construct a more equitable Boston and surrounding neighborhoods. His next development, beginning this September, is in joint venture with Urban Spaces, a Cambridge, MA-based development firm. Named The Townhomes at The Richardson Estate, the project consists of 12 new-construction townhouses located in the affluent Town of Brookline, Massachusetts. Sales are forecast at an average of $1,300 psf., which translates into townhomes priced between $3.8 and $4.8 million ($4.3 million average).

His strategy transcends the mere erection of buildings or living spaces. In parallel, he focuses on wealth generation and equity investments, through his company called Ascending Communities . The spirit of Ascending Communities was born out his desires to:

  1. Leverage his joint-venture developments and lowering minimum contributions, to provide access to minorities who have not had the opportunity to invest in commercial real estate

  2. Leverage his established relationships with outside development teams; thereby, creating opportunities and invest member capital

  3. Building wealth in the minority community

Ralph has made it very clear that although the syndication was born out of providing minorities access and opportunity to invest, it is inclusive of ALL people. Ascending Communities is to not be known as a syndication for minorities only.

Expressing his conviction, Ralph stated that such initiatives are vital for the city's economic development and welfare. He foresees a Boston where mutual growth is the norm, not in spite of, but because of the diversity it houses. As Ralph stated, to him, it's not about giving or taking a piece of the pie; rather, make the pie larger, so everyone can share. Notably, Ralph recommended Janey Construction, a Black-owned construction company for the Brookline development. Ralph emphasized it was not an altruistic endeavor by him or his joint-venture partners. Out of six separate GC proposals (one proposal from the son of a principal in the development), Janey offered the best plan for the project success. Janey earned the position as a reputable construction firm, with a great history of hospitality and luxury construction.

With Parent + Diamond, Ralph demonstrates that an emphasis on DEI doesn't only bring a variety of perspectives and novel concepts, but also facilitates a more fair and inclusive society.

In a recent conversation, Dustin, a fellow member, remarked, "Ralph's transition from an employee to a business owner and multifamily developer is nothing short of impressive. It's fascinating to see how he uses his position to effect such meaningful changes. His commitment to diversity and community growth truly stands out."

Ralph's principles and determination resonate with our values at BCREN. His ambition to revolutionize Boston's property market, his zeal for community enrichment, and his advocacy for diversity and inclusion are lighting the path towards a more inclusive future.

We invite you to join us in applauding Ralph's significant contributions to our community and the city of Boston. As our featured member this month, we have no doubt that his journey will serve as a source of inspiration to many within our network.

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