As more architects foray into the realm of real-estate development and urban planning, the interdisciplinary thinking that is required for navigating work at this intersection becomes increasingly important. Please join the AIANY Women in Architecture Committee as a panel of experienced architects who have made this career transition discuss the challenges and opportunities of working at the intersection of architecture and real-estate development. Our panelists will share insights on how they have used their design backgrounds to bring value to their projects and strategies for managing the complexities of both design and development.
Nicole Dosso, FAIA, Vice President Design and Construction, Vornado Realty Trust
Ali Militano, Director of Construction, Alloy Development
Sara Ngan, AIA, Vice President of Design and Development, Alpine Residential
Jenny Wu, AIA, Managing Director of Development, Jonathan Rose Companies
Susi Yu, Former Principal and Head of Development, MAG Partners
Katrina Yin, AIA, Design Manager, JDS Development Group
About the Speakers:
Nicole Dosso has spent her 25-year career working in New York City on complex projects demanding a high level of team coordination and collaboration that characterize her career as an architect and her portfolio of work. Projects include 7 World Trade Center, One World Trade Center, Baccarat Hotel & Residencies, Manhattan West, and 35 Hudson Yards. As Vice President – Design & Construction at Vornado Realty Trust, Dosso is involved in several projects in the Penn Station District, set to be the epicenter of New York City. A recently completed project: the adaptive reuse of the civic Farley Post Office, which opened in early 2021; this building has been transformed into the Moynihan Train Hall and the Farley commercial property.
In 2012, Dosso was honored in the “40 under Forty” issue of Crain’s New York Business and received an AIA Presidential Citation for contributions at the World Trade Center site. In January 2016, for recognition of her notable contributions to the advancement of the architecture profession, Dosso was elected to The College of Fellows of The American Institute of Architects. Dosso is currently serving on the New York State Board for Architecture and the Syracuse University School of Architecture Advisory Board. Dosso is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University.
Ali Militano is the Director of Construction at Alloy Development, overseeing on-site execution and project delivery. At Alloy, Militano is working on her largest project to date, 100 Flatbush, the first all-electric skyscraper in New York City. Prior to joining Alloy in 2020, Ali worked as a construction manager at Structure Tone, specializing in project estimates and cost management, on-site management, and architectural and MEP coordination. Leveraging her industry knowledge in construction, architecture, and real estate development, Militano welcomes unpredictable challenges throughout the course of a project and tackles problems head-on. Militano holds a Bachelor of Architecture and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Virginia Tech and a Master’s in Science in Real Estate Development from New York University.
Sara Ngan is the VP of Design and Development at Alpine Residential, with over 15 years of experience designing and leading a wide range of award-winning projects. She is passionate about the fight for equality and inclusion, which can be seen in the number of initiatives she leads or is deeply involved in, including serving on the Advisory Board of AIANY's Women in Architecture Committee, hosting resume and portfolio workshops, and mentoring and encouraging young women and persons of color to join the AEC industry. Currently, she oversees design aspects within Alpine’s portfolio consisting of 3,000+ units along the east coast. Her past projects include The Greenwich Lane, Apex Place, and FXCollaborative’s new headquarters. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Carnegie Mellon University and is a registered architect in New York. In 2020, she was honored by Professional Women in Construction and selected as a 40 Under 40 – Outstanding Woman in Construction.
Jenny Wu is the Managing Director of Development for Jonathan Rose Companies and has been with the company since 2012. She brings a broad base of design and construction, finance, and development experience and is responsible for leading the firm’s pivotal green development projects on the East Coast. Wu has developed over 1,300 units within various affordable and mixed-income projects and has another 1,800 units in predevelopment. Prior to joining Jonathan Rose Companies, Wu was an architect for the New-York based architecture firm Rogers Marvel Architects, where she designed and managed the construction of several adaptive reuse projects, including the conversion of a piano factory into a non-profit film school and a mattress warehouse into a community soup kitchen.
Wu received a Master of Science in Real Estate Development degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a Registered Architect in the State of New York, a LEED Accredited Professional, and actively serves on the Board of Women in Housing and Finance.
Susi Yu is Former Principal and Head of Development at MAG Partners, responsible for overseeing and executing the company’s development investment strategy. Previously, Susi served as Executive Vice President of Development for Forest City Ratner Companies, leading the Residential Development team on the execution of Pacific Park Brooklyn, the $4.9 billion, 22-acre mixed-use development in the heart of Brooklyn. At Forest City, Yu also oversaw the development of large-scale, mixed-use urban projects, including New York by Gehry, an 896-unit residential building designed by Frank Gehry. Yu started at Forest City in 2001 and worked there until 2018, except for a 20-month stint from 2013–2015 with the Howard Hughes Corporation as Senior Vice President of Development.
Trained as an architect at the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture, Yu previously worked for ten years in that field, most recently as a Project Architect for Robert A.M. Stern. She is a graduate of Columbia University’s Master of Science in Real Estate Development Program and is a registered architect in New York State. Yu emigrated from Seoul, Korea, to Richmond, Virginia, at the age of ten. Yu serves on an advisory board of the Goldman Family and is a director of Apple Bank.
Katrina Yin is an architect and design manager at JDS Development Group, an innovative real estate development, construction, and acquisition firm responsible for the creation of numerous residential, hospitality, and mixed-use projects in New York City and Miami. Currently, Yin is managing design for 888 Brickell Avenue in Miami, Florida, set to be the tallest building in the city upon completion. Prior to joining JDS, she worked in design at various boutique design firms in New York City before becoming a development associate and licensed real estate salesperson at Alloy Development. She is committed to promoting a holistic and collaborative approach to real estate development that brings together design, sales, and marketing.
She is a dedicated mentor at the Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale and a team leader for the ACE Mentor Program of Greater NY. She holds both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Architecture from Yale University.
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AIANY Women in Architecture Committee