Real estate consultant makes ‘urban’ intentional
Kathleen Norris had planned to stay as far away from the real estate business as possible.
Norris is the daughter of two real estate brokers and despite her father’s dreams, she chose to pursue a career in theater.
But after being recruited to complete a project in Over-the-Rhine a decade ago, Norris saw an opportunity to create and reboot interest in urban centers and help communities and projects develop millennial recruitment strategies.
Five years ago, she launched Urban Fast Forward, a real estate brokerage and consulting company. And despite the firm being a relative newcomer in the real estate brokerage game, it has built a list of big clients such as the city of Cincinnati, long-established nonprofit organizations such as The Community Builders and Local Initiatives Support Corp., local real estate developers such as Model Group and community development corporations such as the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation and Madisonville Community Urban Revitalization Corp.
Urban Fast Forward’s five-person team has also helped broker more than 20 restaurant or brewery deals in Greater Cincinnati within the last 12 months. Among the clients it has worked with: Melt at the Gantry in Northside, L at Great American Tower in Downtown Cincinnati, Nine Giant Brewing in Pleasant Ridge and Just Q’in in Walnut Hills.
“We have to unhomogenize neighborhoods,” said Norris, a 65-year-old Hyde Park resident. “To do it, you have to unveil its unique character. Urban isn’t static. You have to be nimble.”