June 28, 2022

Boyle Talks: Les Binkley Talks Development of Mixed-Use and Multi-Family Communities

Gary: Hi, I’m Gary Thompson with Boyle Investment Company and we’re here for another episode of Boyle Talks. Today, we’ll be interviewing Les Binkley who is the Senior Vice President in our Land Development Group. Les, tell us a little bit of what you do here at Boyle. How long have you been here?

Les: I’ve been here 15 years and really the great thing about being at Boyle is you get to participate in all facets of the development process. It’s such a great place to be because you could do all those things and keep your job very interesting.

Gary: So, Boyle has been into mixed-use plan developments for a long time. You’re doing even more of that. Tell me how you see that evolving?

Les: Early years when practitioners, like Rusty, were trying to really change the suburban development pattern, the mixed-use developments were more horizontal in nature and as that practice has cultivated over many years, it’s becoming to get more and more tightly integrated. Now we’re getting into more vertically integrated mixed-use development.

Gary: It seems like multi-family has always been, but seems to be more of an integrator as part of that.

Les: Yes, and that’s part of our practice that we’re reviving and trying to grow and cultivate because it’s such an important factor to mixed-use communities. People are, I think, searching for authentic community, honestly. And especially in a digital world, that people want real human connection, and so a lot of this place making that incorporates multi-family, as well as the other uses, are really giving a palette for people to live their lives and connect with others, and so we feel like that’s a really important differentiator for what we offer the market, to give those spaces to people so they can have convenience and community with others.

Gary: Excellent. So are you doing this all yourself?

Les: Well, the great thing about Boyle is we have a deep bench of practitioners that, from land planning to construction, to product specialists in office and retail and multi-family. So the great thing about being here is that you can cobble those great minds together to help you produce the best offering you can for the market.

Gary: Well, it sounds like these places are becoming better and better places really to live and to work and to play…

Les: Yes, they are, and I think the next step to building these communities is really building the soft aspects of community. A lot of times you talk about the bricks and mortar, the place-making of the physical arrangement of the streets, the buildings, the parks, and the open spaces. And now I think as practitioners, it’s on us to really focus on these softer elements, like marketing, branding, events, offerings to the community, communication in general to office workers, to residents so they know what’s going on and create atmospheres where people can connect.

Gary: Les, thank you for joining us today. It sounds like what you’re doing is really making better places for people to live and work in Memphis and around the whole nation.

Les: Gary, thanks for having me today. Good being with you.

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