Art Campbell is the Development Manager of Core Investments, Inc. He started the company in 2021.
What do you actually do at Core?
It’s kind of scattered. My role is to manage every phase of a project from acquisition through disposition. During acquisitions I manage due diligence, drive financial modeling, and assist in legal tasks with our in house team and our attorneys. Once we have property, I manage any design and specification selection, entitlements, and improvement work, as well any communication with the city regarding approvals or obtaining certificates of occupancy. And if we build anything I manage the alteration process and in select leasing operations along with the asset services team. I do tenant fit-outs, assist with capital projects, and if we ever sell anything manage seller due diligence. My role is utility man – I can hop in wherever needed.
Art, what did you do before Core?
Before Core I worked at a very small real estate consultancy on Newbury Street. I handled everything I do at Core now but on a smaller scale. They did mostly asset management, fee development management. There were only three of us.
Where did you go to school?
I went to Northeastern undergrad and graduate school. I got a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and then a Masters in Architecture. I’m not a registered architect. I decided that was not the road to go down. Designing cities – people who do that are typically developers. You can make an impact, much more than what you think architecture is. It’s ironic.
And where did you grow up?
I grew up in central New Jersey, right outside of Rutgers. I came to Boston for school and kind of fell in love with things. We always vacationed up here, on the Vineyard, where my family was vacationing for 40 years. My extended family had lived up here for ages, but my grandfather moved to New Jersey. He was a pharmacologist. Johnson & Johnson was down there, and he worked on the glue for the Band-Aid.
Where do you live now?
I live over in Roxbury in Fort Hill. I’ve lived there for six years now and gotten to know a number of people in the community. I run a lot. I didn’t recognize when I first moved there how historic that area is.
What do you do to have fun or outside work?
I like art. I paint, I run, I do a fair amount of tinkering. I build crappy furniture. I built a murphy bed and these rolling desks. In architecture school I liked to make things. I do some software tinkering. I have a kind of interest in the built world as a whole – why it’s so siloed and confused, why it’s not more streamlined. A lot of other industries and other fields have progressed. Fintech is a big thing, banking technology. Even in the food world they have progressed much faster than cities and the built world. I got interested in that in architecture school. If you ask people to rent an apartment, they go to Craigslist. It’s unbelievable. I’m interested in GIS and architecture technology and hack together maps I like to push boundaries and figure out what’s going on.
I like art. My grandfather was a painter. I’m a big fan of Norman Rockwell. I went out to that museum this weekend, in Great Barrington. I grew up with a lot of Norman Rockwell around me. He was a god among men in terms of drawing life. The museum’s not like others, where you can kind of feel removed from art. You can get up close and personal in some of the great works of American history. I like Mass MoCA, contemporary art. As of late I do mostly acrylics, if I’m not going to New Jersey to see my girlfriend, who still lives there.
What’s a favorite place of yours in the Boston area?
I spend most of time in Jamaica Plain, on Centre Street. The food out there is wonderful. The food and music scene is great. That’s why I live over there. Tres Gotos may be the best food in Boston.
Is there anything new in your life?
There’s really nothing. For the first time in 29 years I’ve not had to change. Everything feels kind of stable, which is a good thing. But at Northeastern I was lucky and did a lot of traveling, and I spent eight months in Berlin in 2015. I was seriously considering moving there. I’m still shaped by that. It’s a wonderful city, a high quality of life, great food, wonderful design culture. I went there to study architecture at a tech university and traveled through Europe. I lived on the eastern side, in Kreuzberg, kind of the Brooklyn of Berlin. It’s cheaper in Berlin than living in Boston.