Women of FIRE 2014: Gerry-Lynn Darcy
She grew up in the planning industry at her father’s knee, absorbing the nuances of architectural plans. Gerry-Lynn Darcy credits the time and effort her father gave her, from an early age, so that planning became part of the fabric of her work-life experience, which now spans 18 years.
After graduating from Wheaton College with a bachelor’s degree in economics and management, Darcy joined her father’s firm, where she headed up operations and development for a few years before making the decision to work for larger firms, such as Toll Brothers, one of the nation’s largest homebuilders, and Lennar Homes, where she served as an asset manager. She learned the systems and standards used by national firms – and combined them with her existing holistic knowledge of the planning process – and while at Lennar, she presided over the startup of Hewitt’s Landing at the Hingham Shipyard, a live-work-play, transit-oriented waterfront community in the South Shore.
“In a work-live-play environment, people want amenities,” Darcy said, noting that she has witnessed a change in the buyer profile, with increasing interest in properties close to jobs, intermodal transit to get to them, and commercial activity. “So many people love it,” she says of the Hingham development.
Finding Her Niche
She has found her niche in her most recent capacity at the real estate division of Lupoli Cos. The company is an umbrella corporation with three hospitality companies and a real estate company, employing about 1,000 people and overseeing 3 million square feet of space, from mill buildings to new construction.
Among the company’s achievements is the Riverwalk Properties in Lawrence. It was, Darcy said, “a blighted site that no one wanted to touch,” a formerly empty mill property along the Merrimac River, comprised of 1.4 million square feet with 200 companies that employ 2,500 people.
Darcy cautioned that access to jobs is critical: “Without jobs, the housing doesn’t matter.” Other projects include a medical building in Andover and another mixed-use mill conversion in Lowell.
Her membership in trade associations is no less holistic than her work experience. She joined the Builders Association of Greater Boston (BAGB) as an executive officer in 2012 and became CEO of the local chapter of the National Association of Homebuilders. BAGB’s 2011 president, Ted Mahoney, cites her background in real estate, construction and client relationship-building as a great help to BAGB.
In addition to her BA and an MBA that she is set to receive from Endicott College’s Van Loan School of Management next year, Darcy also maintains an Unrestricted Supervisors License and a Massachusetts Brokers License.
By Christina P. O'Neill · July 13, 2014 · Banker & Tradesman