Publisher’s Message: January 2021

The Blair Lot development in Roxbury responds to a community vision laid out in BPDA’s PLAN: Nubian Square.

The first issue of 2021 is here! The fact that we made it to 2021 is thrilling, and we all know why, so I won’t readdress the mayhem that was 2020. I know that this year will still be a challenge, but I think there’s a big sigh of relief that we’re starting a new year.

Jan. 1 represents new goals, new visions, new dreams. Call it what you want. I’m embracing it wholeheartedly. Something about 1-1-2021…it just sounds magical, doesn’t it?

Anastasia Barnes

Throughout this issue, you’ll get a sense of the uncertain yet optimistic forecasts that are shared among many of the leaders in our industry. Without a doubt, the biggest impact has been how and where people work. Many employees have proven to be both productive and efficient when working remotely. Collaboration is key, and we’re all eager to get back to human interaction, no matter how much our co-workers bug us.

Among the forecasts that we have printed in this issue, I found John Hurley’s article particularly on point. He states, “COVID-19 has completely forced development teams to reconsider every facet of the construction process from a wellness perspective.”

Wellness has always been important for the end user, but not necessarily for the workers. A building shouldn’t just be green from the standpoint of how much energy it uses but the kind of materials that are used to build it. I’m referring to embodied carbon, a term brought to the masses just a few years ago. We did an entire podcast around embodied carbon. In my opinion, the health of a building starts with safe materials which aligns with the health and safety of our workers. Am I right, folks?

HP’s calendar isn’t as robust as it normally is. Although a vaccine should be distributed nationally within the next three to six months, no one is planning any in-person events anytime soon. The Women Who Build Summit, which has always been at the end of February or early March, has altered its program this year. Instead of a one day in-person event, the Construction Institute has seven individual sessions planned, once a month starting this month with “Women, Wine & Power.” The Pathway to the 2021 Women Who Build Summit promises to “engage your mind, strengthen your body, and allow you to have some fun along the way.”  I have attended WWB for two consecutive years, and I won’t be missing this seven part series. You can learn more about it by visiting

HP has a new website! Have you noticed? We’re still fine-tuning some pages, but we encourage you to check out our new design and click around to see some new offerings, including our special section devoted to our contributor articles.

I’m still a young leader. By default, I lead with vulnerability. Twenty years of being a professional actor will do that to you. I’m just as uncertain as everyone else at times, but I truly am ready to take this year on like a sumo wrestler.

So, out with the old and in with the new. Let’s do this people!

Happy New Year!

Anastasia Barnes

Read HP’s January 2021 issue now!