Q & A with developer Romy Goldman, this year’s ABO developer of the year

Oct.October 08, 2009 06:49 PM

Romy Goldman is the founder and president of Gold Development, the development and project management firm responsible for residential condominiums 48 Bond downtown (which is completed), Hamilton Parc (where one unit is left for rent) and Hamilton Lofts in Harlem (where sales are ongoing).

A specialist in both commercial and residential buildings, Goldman’s two-person firm also works to manage other developers’ construction sites throughout the United States, including affordable-housing developments at 201 West 148th Street in Harlem and 1011 Washington Avenue in the Bronx.

Goldman will be honored as developer of the year at the Associated Builders and Owners of Greater NY annual ceremony Oct. 28, the same month that Gold Development celebrates its 10-year anniversary. She will be part of an all-female panel of award winners, in fields such as real estate appraising and entrepreneurship. According to ABO, this is the first time all the honorees have been women.

In a written statement, Nick LaPorte, executive director of ABO, said that the organization felt it was important to pay particular attention to women in the industry, among the glut of men in the field.

Goldman talked to The Real Deal about her road to real estate and how she excels in an old boys’ club.

What’s it like to be a female developer in a male-dominated industry?

It’s an adventure. I always say, even being a male in a male-dominated industry is tough. It’s hard for them too. It’s a little challenging [because] sometimes men can sort of say things louder… they can get attention just in terms of the tone of their voice and sometimes I don’t think women can do that. Also people sort of have assumptions automatically. Actually sometimes the assumptions are great! If you see a woman on the job site, it’s so rare that they automatically assume that she knows what she’s doing.

Do you try to alter the way you talk to colleagues?

You have to remember that men can yell and get attention that way. That’s all they use. I think you sort of have to create a different style. You can do yelling or really annoying nice-ness. [More important] is keeping consistent. Not nicey-nice, but just repeat every single day, just stay on top of them, rather than scream and then disappear for a few days. Another style [I try] is just to be incredibly organized.

How did you get into real estate?

I fell into it after college. I moved to D.C. I was an international relations major in school and thought I’d work on the Hill [in politics, but] I had the opportunity to do an internship with an affordable housing developer [Marilyn Melkonian], and she’s a great woman — great company [Telesis].

Did you ever work as a broker?

No. Never been a broker.

Are you glad?

[Laughs] I guess there’s certain ways you do get into real estate. I actually came in on the development side, which was great.

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