Mixed-use development veteran Robin Zeigler announced today the formation of MURAL Real Estate Partners (“MURAL”), a privately held, full-service real estate company dedicated to advancing economic development through the design, development and management of mixed-use exploited assets in underserved urban and suburban neighborhoods across the United States
Zeigler, the former Chief Operating Officer of Cedar Realty Trust and Mid-Atlantic Chief Operating Officer of Federal Realty Investment Trust, founded MURAL on a uniquely collaborative, community-oriented philosophy that balances ambitious development concepts with a keen sense of the challenges at hand of real estate development in culturally diverse neighborhoods that have historically lacked affordable housing and quality goods and services.
MURAL, which stands for Mixed Use Revitalization Approached Locally, evaluates development opportunities through a holistic examination of community needs, such as: The company is currently evaluating acquisitions and partnerships across the country and has earmarked more than $500 million for mixed-use redevelopment and value-added renovation of existing malls or multi-family homes.
“It is incredibly satisfying to formally launch MURAL, which brings a unique perspective to the development process grounded in a commitment to making long-term investments in previously ignored neighborhoods,” said Zeigler, who serves as MURAL’s Chief Executive Officer. “We create value together with communities — not just within them — and will work to find lasting solutions to underserved areas while we create justice, create economic empowerment, and build strong and meaningful relationships.”
Working closely with elected officials, community stakeholders and equity partners, MURAL is funded through public incentive programs and helps unlock intrinsic values in its communities. In addition to acting as a development leader or partner, MURAL offers a range of third party services including property management, asset management and leasing advice.
MURAL, which also offers consulting services for complex, multi-phase developments, is currently being hired as consultants for two of the country’s most ambitious mixed-use projects:
● St.Louis Development Corp. has enlisted MURAL as an advisor to help implement its Economic Justice Action Plan – a framework to bring about equitable and inclusive development opportunities in the City of St. Louis by removing historical barriers and economic injustices and closing the racial wealth gap.
● Cedar Realty Trust has retained MURAL as consultants to support the first phase of Northeast Heights, which includes the construction, development and management of a 258,000 square foot office building leased to the Department of General Services with ground floor retail in Washington DC In addition, MURAL is working on behalf of Cedar to advance the proposed redevelopment of two existing Cedar’s malls, collectively called Northeast Heights.
One of the few African American women with C-suite experience at public commercial real estate companies, Zeigler has navigated complex transactions in economically troubled locations for more than two decades, including the development and operation of more than 16 million square feet in blended real estate projects during her use throughout your career. Most recently, she led Cedar Realty Trust’s strategic effort to reinvent and redevelop its portfolio of convenience store malls and initiated the company’s mixed-use urban development platform.
With the launch of MURAL, Zeigler assembled a world-class team of leaders:
● VP of Development Jessica Tan has over 13 years of real estate development and consulting experience. Most recently, she managed mixed-use redevelopment of existing shopping centers in the Mid-Atlantic region for Cedar Realty Trust and played a key role in the founding and leadership of the Deloitte PDS Group, a project and development management firm in Sydney, Australia.
● Vanessa Rodriguez, Senior Vice President of Marketing, PR and Community Relations, has strategic marketing initiatives and placemaking for companies including Federal Realty Investment Trust and The Howard Hughes Corporation for the development and operations of mixed-use real estate throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast developed and implemented. Known for her versatility, creativity and attention to detail, Rodriguez manages community relations and ensures ongoing cultural marketing programs and promotions to increase traffic, revenue and brand awareness of mixed-use neighborhoods.
● Vice President of Property Management Melanie Ramos, currently joining the MURAL team, brings 15 years direct experience with mixed-use properties, driving value through superior management and fostering connections with community leaders across their portfolio. Ramos’ experience with companies such as Federal Realty Investment Trust, Bozzuto and Cedar Realty Trust includes responsibility for 21 East Coast properties representing 2.8 million square feet of retail space.
“I take my responsibility seriously not only as an advocate for conscientious economic growth, but also as a role model for the underrepresented voices in an historically undiversified industry,” said Zeigler. “MURAL’s female-led leadership team is poised to change the industry paradigm by executing the ambitious vision we have set out for the months and years to come.”
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