Jeff Finn of Nor’wooden performs a key function within the renaissance of downtown Colorado Springs’ enterprise
For as long as he can remember, Jeff Finn has had an interest in how things fit together.
This interest developed into a passion for architecture; He holds a bachelor’s degree in design with a major in architecture from the University of Florida and a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Texas at Austin.
It was a professor in Austin who opened his eyes to the concept of urban design, a holistic approach to development. “There is a duty and a responsibility that goes beyond the mating room program,” says Finn. “Architecture can play a much bigger role when it comes to building cities well or badly.”
FIRST IN A ROW
This is the first in an occasional series of profiles of notable young professionals in the Colorado Springs area. If you have a suggestion for a profile, send an email to [email protected]
Today, as Vice President of the Nor’wood Development Group, he is actively involved in urban development and supports Nor’wood’s mission to make Colorado Springs “No. 1 middleweight city in the country. “His role in creating and executing more than $ 250 million in downtown projects resulted in him being named one of the winners of the mayor’s fifth annual Young Leader Awards last fall. 38 year old Finn was honored in the Community and Economic Impact category.
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Nor’wood President Chris Jenkins shared Finn’s achievements in being nominated for the award. According to Jenkins, Finn’s leadership and technical advisor work in the application process and other aspects of City for Champions projects was critical to the Colorado Economic Development Commission providing the city with sales tax rebates of up to $ 120.5 million Funding granted for the project.
Finn was the key to building the U.S. Olympic Museum and Hall of Fame, wrote Jenkins. He was the project manager of 333 ECO, the new 171-unit urban housing project in the downtown area, and was “the workhorse” behind the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority’s award for funding Greenway Flats, a 65-unit apartment complex, which opened earlier this year to be opened on the Springs Rescue Mission campus and designed to provide assisted housing “for our most vulnerable citizens”.
“Jeff is a passionate ambassador for good design and believes that quality architecture is essential to building a durable and long-lasting city,” Jenkins wrote.
Bob Cope, the city’s director of economic development, said he has known Finn for about six years. He calls Finn all-rounder, “with expertise in planning and financial analysis.”
“He always has a full plate, but you can count on him to make it,” Cope said in an email. “Jeff will have a lasting impact on downtown Colorado Springs for generations.”
Include the city building
Jeff Finn, Vice President of the Nor’wood Development Group, will be in one of the units in the 333 ECO Apartments in Colorado Springs on Thursday. He holds a bachelor’s degree in design with a major in architecture from the University of Florida and a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Texas at Austin.
Finn grew up in Florida; His family was vacationing in Colorado and as a “flat country” from the Sunshine State, the mountains were a big draw. After graduating from the University of Florida, he moved to Springs in 2002. The job market was tough after the September 11, 2001 attacks, and he had to turn to Denver to commute before finally finding work with architectural firms in Colorado Springs.
He met his wife Rebecca, an occupational therapist and native jumper.
Shortly after getting married, they moved to Austin so Jeff could attend graduate school, but they knew they would return to the sources.
While working as an architect for HB&A in the sources, he met Jenkins. Finn was part of a group at HB & A that was doing a “redesign” of Acacia Park and the alleys in the city center – not as a job, but just as “fun little tinkering”. This tinkering caught the attention of city guides, property owners, and others, including Jenkins.
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“At the time, around 2011, I had no idea what Nor’wood was doing,” says Finn. But he was intrigued, he says, “By the way, the way Chris’s mind worked. I had never heard anyone in this city talk about the idea of town planning, and they were actually able to do it. “
It was a time of change for the city with the transition to a strong mayoral form of government. And with that came the talk of a revitalization of the inner city – a speech that developed into City for Champions’ vision of new, “groundbreaking” tourist spots.
“I’ve always wanted this idea of a renaissance in the inner city to be part of it,” says Finn. When he joined Nor’wood in 2013 as Project Design Manager, he secured a role in leading this renaissance.
“Jeff is a quiet guy who listens and respects his employees, but takes the reins and leads the team when the time is right,” said Fred Veitch, a vice president for Nor’wood, via email. “He puts family, community, and the right before expediency, which shows a maturity that isn’t often seen in someone his age. He is thoughtful and considerate, but will be as firm as necessary to get a good bottom line. “
A work-life balance
Finn still loves to do design, still loves to tinker. “Sometimes I still take paper and draw or make models in 3D on the computer.”
However, he found that he really has a passion for the front-end of projects – working with partners; Securing funding; Imagine not just how spaces fit together, but how they fit into the community and contribute to their health and economic vitality.
These pieces can be very different. When it comes to urban life, which Finn sees as key to a downtown renaissance, there’s the 333 Eco in the heart of downtown on one end of the spectrum and Greenway Flats on the other end.
Greenway Flats, a partnership with Springs Rescue Mission, “could be seen as an anomaly for Nor’wood,” says Finn. However, the company’s goal is not to “build great assets that we can have in our collection; Our goal is to make Colorado Springs the best we can. To do this, you must have comprehensive health in all areas of quality of life, including housing. “And that means accommodation for everyone, from young professionals to families to empty nests.
Finn is also a driving force behind the $ 2 billion downtown urban renewal project in the Southwest and helped provide the University of Colorado with a satellite location in downtown Colorado Springs.
Despite his involvement in so many projects, he has a life outside of work. This life revolves around his family; He and Rebecca – “the stone that keeps the family going” – have four children, ages 11 to 4. “I’m an only child,” says Finn, “so I really had to learn about the dynamics of all the siblings. ”
His belief is “an important cornerstone” of his life at home and at work. The family attends New Life Church downtown and is their first year helping a refugee family from Africa adapt to life in the springs through Lutheran family ministry. “That was a really cool, fulfilling thing,” says Finn.
He is excited to be part of a transformation phase for Colorado Springs. While recognizing that not everyone may be okay with City for Champions or all of its forms, he believes that this has helped change the narrative of the city, from being a city in the shadow of Denver to a community that is investing and investing Makes progress.
“When we were in an awkward teenage phase,” he says, “we built muscle as a community.”
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