OCEAN DRIVE: Jessica Goldman Srebnick on the Changing Face of Wynwood Walls

May 6, 2016

By Jon Warech | May 4, 2016 | People

Through expansion and curation, Jessica Goldman Srebnick is helping Wynwood grow up, without letting it grow old.

Under the watchful eye of developer Tony Goldman, the Wynwood Walls transformed a once-undesirable neighborhood into a vibrant home for internationally acclaimed street art. But for his baby to develop as the late visionary intended, it will fall on his daughter, Jessica Goldman Srebnick, to nurture the area into adulthood.

“I feel like Wynwood is in its toddler stage,” says Goldman Srebnick, the CEO of Goldman Properties. “We’re walking, we’re talking, but we still have a lot of growth ahead of us.”

Over the next five years, Goldman Srebnick expects big changes in Wynwood, including an influx of retail, a 434-car parking garage (being developed by Goldman Properties), and office buildings packed with tech companies, start-ups, and co-working space. But as the neighborhood grows, Goldman Srebnick is working to ensure that Wynwood doesn’t lose what she calls the “special sauce” that makes it one of the most dynamic communities in the world.

“The art is going to go vertical,” she says. “Right now it’s all horizontal, but as we start building bigger, it’s going to go vertical, which is going to be interesting. Plus, I think you’ll see a beautiful marriage of art and architecture in Wynwood. The hope is that we’re setting the tone for that.”

The evolution has already started at Goldman Properties, which recently expanded the Wynwood Walls by purchasing an adjacent property dubbed Wynwood Garden. While the expansion allows for larger events—like the concert series that Goldman Srebnick is starting in May or high-profile weddings (and nightlife impresario David Grutman’s recent engagement)— it also provides room for more street art, which is the foundation of the development.

“We like to make sure we have representation from all over the world,” she says, noting that she’s on the hunt for an Italian artist. “In the day and age of Instagram, you can really research and find some extraordinary artists and what they’re doing in real time all over the world.”

Here, the art isn’t just pretty; it’s also good for business. “I look at the Wynwood Building as an interesting example,” Goldman Srebnick says of the structure that’s now home to tenants like Del Toro Shoes and the hair salon Junior & Hatter. “It was a 40,000-square-foot industrial building that was getting $6 a square foot in rent. We painted it these incredible black and white stripes—we didn’t change the structure of the building at all—and then all of a sudden, creative people wanted to work there and creative retailers wanted to be there.”

And as Wynwood matures, new tenants will expect the same vibe—“There’s going to be a cachet to having an office in Wynwood,” she says—and demand that the cool neighborhood not lose its edge. Businesses like Jugofresh are doing their part by standing out design-wise and embracing the responsibility that comes with being a Wynwood tenant. “You know where you are when you’re in Wynwood,” she adds. “It’s not Everyplace USA.”

Juggling the creative and the corporate, managing an expanding business while staying true to her father’s ideals, and helping Wynwood grow up without selling out constitutes a big part of Goldman Srebnick’s day. She watched her father at work (what she endearingly calls the Tony Goldman School of Business) and is a “lifelong learner,” she says, attending the leadership development program at Harvard Business School every year.

“Obviously, we’re not in this as a hobby; this is a business. But at the same time, you will work that much harder and the quality of your product will be that much better if it’s something you really love and believe in,” she explains, noting the success of the restaurants her company runs, Wynwood Kitchen & Bar and Joey’s Italian Café, and the growth of tenants like Panther Coffee and Zak the Baker. “We have a marathon mind-set, not a sprinter’s mind-set, and so we’re thinking about decisions for the long term. Choices come with consequences, and I try to make choices that better the lives of other people and create prosperity and hope.” And in Wynwood, hope springs eternal, and prosperity is painted on every wall. 2520 NW Second Ave., Miami

Link to article: http://oceandrive.com/jessica-goldman-srebnick-on-growing-wynwood

For more information on the design for Wywnood Walls Garden please visit: https://plusurbia.com/project/wynwood-garden/

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