ECUADOR - Real Estate & Construction
General Manager, Uribe & Schwarzkopf (US)
Joseph Schwarzkopf graduated with a degree in finance from Florida State University. Prior to his current position, he was manager of Constructora Miracielo, commercial director of Paseo San Francisco, and executive president of Hotel Le Parc. He is also an active member of the Young Presidents Organization.
Uribe & Schwarzkopf strives to develop projects that will change the skyline of the city with innovative architecture while also protecting the environment.
How would you characterize the company’s evolution and the relationship with Quito over the years?
We have evolved through time. Our architectural projects have become the face of the city, and we have been growing alongside the city. We started doing new styles of architecture 10-12 years ago and developed innovative buildings while concurrently changing our clients’ mindsets to include amenities to improve people’s lives, such as pools and gyms. We are now building communities that have everything one needs. Our mission is to do things differently, and we want to create the new skyline of the city. We want every project to have its own language in architecture and work with different clienteles of all segments and ages, while also protecting the environment. Creativity and doing things differently have been key to keeping us competitive. In real estate and development, one’s only asset is their brand. You need to inspire confidence in clients. We have a great deal of creativity and talent that is changing the city. Quito has great potential to be a trendy city in terms of design and gastronomy.
What projects do you have in mind in terms of the push toward a circular economy?
Our clientele increasingly desires to live in a project that is sustainable, has certifications, is responsible for the environment, and is part of a circular economy. We consider all this when we start designing, because this is the future. Young people especially demand this when they buy, so commercially it makes sense to not lag behind.
What are your expansion plans?
We are doing a major project in Guayaquil, and it is aligned with the ideas here. We want to break the design barriers and do something different. We are in talks with two famous international architects. The project is in an up-and-coming area, but it is the best place in Guayaquil, so it is a challenge. We want to build parks around, work on mobility, and push the city to improve the area overall. We have a solid brand action in Guayaquil; people know us, because they may have seen our designs in Quito, so we will work on breaking into the market there. Quito keeps growing, and the area of the Carolina is the best. We predict the city will reach 4 million people in five years. We do not see ourselves working internationally; in our line of business it is difficult to do so.
Are there any collaborations with ’starchitects’ you would like to highlight?
We will launch a project in 2022 with Mad, a Chinese-American architecture firm that works frequently in New York and California. It is spectacular, and we are a fan of its work. We are working on a 36-story building, and it will be the highest in Quito. In Guayaquil, we are in talks with two firms. We want to import talent and work with different companies. Every project should have its own identity, and we do not like repetition. In Quito, we have many projects by interesting architecture firms, which inspires Ecuadorian architects to be better, because they see the innovative projects that are raising the bar, so they need to be at the same level.
How would you like to position the company in the upcoming years?
We need to align our communication and positioning of the brand, because even though it is a well-known brand, we are missing that human touch that connects developers with its neighbors. We are working on a campaign for next year to ensure all our projects are present in public spaces. We have a museum of contemporary art already designed that we plan to donate to the city. We also have a non-profit art gallery called N24 in La Floresta and a restaurant that will re-open in December. It is essential to find ways to improve the communities where we build.
ECUADOR - Real Estate & Construction
Minister, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development
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