Day in the Life of:
The Sorgente Group’s U.S. chief on revamping historic gems, cleaning up Play-Doh and the paradox of being both gluten-free and Italian
Veronica Mainetti is president of U.S. operations for the Italian development firm the Sorgente Group. The family company, led by her father Valter Mainetti, owns $6 billion in real estate worldwide. The younger Mainetti, 35, moved to the U.S. from Rome in 2004 and now lives in Soho. In New York, Sorgente owns a majority stake in the Flatiron Building, now valued at more than $250 million. And it’s currently renovating a trio of five-story, 1860s-era cast-iron offices at 60-66 White Street in Tribeca. Two of the buildings will house luxury condos. The third will be offices geared toward design and tech firms. The project is slated for completion by late 2015. In the U.S., the firm is also making its push on the West Coast, with projects like the renovation of the Fine Arts Building and an upgrade of the historic Clock Tower, both in Los Angeles.
6:00 a.m. I receive a wake-up call from my beautiful son Giulio jumping in bed.
6:30 a.m. I gave up going to the gym during the week because I pretty much get all the cardio I need with my [3-year-old] every morning. Lately we’ve been playing a lot of hide-and-seek, which is great because during the hiding part I get to check my emails.
7:00 a.m. My partner Lorri [Shackelford], Giulio and I have breakfast. I get Giulio dressed and ready for either school or his weekly Italian play date [with an Italian group of kids and teacher.] I walk him to pre-school nearby.
9:00 a.m. I’m on the phone with Europe. We have properties in Italy, France and England. While on the call, I clean paint or Play-Doh from our [kitchen] island.
10:30 a.m. I’m ready to leave the house. Before I do, I always make cold-pressed juice with an apple or pineapple base, and with kale or spinach.
11:00 a.m. I begin my meetings at either the office or our current project’s sales office. I’m either looking at potential properties or meeting with my development team. They all have to be historic properties — we don’t do ground-up development. We invest in properties that have architectural and historical value. It’s kind of our niche. I also have a huge passion for cast-iron buildings.
12:00 p.m. Between meetings, I check in with my project manager to get an update on all of our U.S. projects. Recently, the call was about our Fine Arts Building.
1:00 p.m. I have a lunch meeting with partners, sellers, consultants or brokers. I’ve been spending a lot of time at the Crosby Hotel. It’s very quiet and great for business meetings.
2:00 p.m. I pick up my son from school near the office and drop him with Lorri at home.
3:00 p.m. I arrive at the office and meet with my team to go over our U.S. projects.
5:00 p.m. I check in with Lorri. She used to be the vice president of [talent agency] Wilhelmina Models and is writing a novel right now [and] spending more time with our son.
6:30 p.m. I’m back in the kitchen to fulfill my Italian [cooking] duties. It’s a little bit of a paradox because I can’t eat gluten. We usually eat organic red lentil pasta with all kinds of sauces and any meat other than red meat. … If we go out, we’ll do a date night at Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Tarrytown. We also attend galas for foundations such as Finding a Cure for Epilepsy & Seizures [because] I have epilepsy.
7:00 p.m. We have dinner and then playtime with Giulio before he goes to bed.
8:30 p.m. We watch MSNBC or the Italian news network Sky TG24. I work on my photography. I love to do travel and portrait photography on weekends and during trips. Whenever I can, I bring my Nikon D800 with me. I wouldn’t call it a hobby because it’s more than that. Lately I’ve been checking out Instagram. I’m very late to the game, but I find it to be a less intrusive social media tool. [The Sorgente Group] got buyers for the White Street project through Instagram.
9:30 p.m. I call filmmaker Daniel Fickle of Two Penguins Productions. We are shooting a documentary about the White Street project.… It has a lot to do with energy efficiency and sustainability. We’ve been shooting for a year and we have another year to go.
10:00 p.m. Lorri and I watch a movie. The last one we watched was “Boyhood.”
12:00 a.m. We’re off to bed and everything starts again.