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Skanska's Clare De Briere Talks LA Projects, Values and Community

Skanska’s Clare De Briere Talks LA Projects, Values and Community

“Care for Life”. It’s a core value for development and construction company Skanska, that they take very seriously.  So seriously in fact, that Skanska has been awarded the 4th-best company in the world, in ANY field, for women to work. 

Clare De Briere is the Executive Vice President and Regional Manager in Los Angeles for Skanska USA Commercial Development. She is clearly proud to work for a company that places such a major emphasis on that “Care for Life” value. 

De Briere is a native Angeleno, and will be speaking at Connect Los Angeles on June 22nd at Hotel Indigo DTLA as part of the Los Angeles Power Players panel. With her extensive background in commercial development as well as her placement on the Southern California’s Women of Influence list, the LA Business Journal’s Women Making a Difference List and sitting on the UCLA Ziman Center Board, De Briere is certainly a Power Player.

Q: Would you tell us a bit about what types of projects Skanska is working on now in Los Angeles and what makes them attractive?

A: We have three active office building projects in the region. 9000 Wilshire Boulevard is a 50,000-square-foot single tenant building. It’s significant because its on the purple transit line that will bring transit to a part of the city that’s never had it before. From a sustainability standpoint, the building has been designed for LEED Platinum certification and has indoor/outdoor work spaces, solar panels and 16’ high ceilings.

8633 Wilshire Boulevard is a 47,000 square feet project and we’re planning to do fully automated parking. In Beverly Hills, parking must be below ground and a fully automated parking system is more sustainable and reduces the operating carbon in the building by 40%.

1811 Sacramento Street in the Arts District of LA is our most audacious project. It’s a 275,000- square-foot net-zero office building currently in the design process. We wanted to do something that hadn’t been done before. The building will have open air areas without windows as well as more traditional office spaces. We’re trying to create an environment that has a real connection to nature with park spaces on 2 different levels. It’s challenging to design, but we feel its worth it to minimize the impact on the environment. 

Q: What is the climate for development in Southern California right now?

A: It depends on who the developer is. For Skanska, we use our own money, so we’re buying into our future. If there’s a recession, there will be less competition allowing us to buy properties that maybe we couldn’t buy before. As far as working remotely, we’re betting that remote work will never replace working in the same space in a creative, collaborative way.

Q: Community support and involvement is a core value of the Skanska organization. What initiatives, activities or other endeavors is Skanska, or you personally, involved with right now?

A: We like to give back our time to worthy causes, and we use them as team-building events. Just recently we made lunches for Hashtag Lunch Bag to feed the homeless. We’ve made lunches for the Downtown Women’s Center in LA, we have a great relationship with the Girl Scouts and we’re engaged with Climate Resolve that allows us to have a local impact with our offset dollars. On a personal level, I’m involved with 826LA, an after school tutoring program for underprivileged kids. I’m a big supporter of the LA Conservancy and I’m on the board of the History Department at UCLA.

Q: Are there projects in other regions of the U.S. that you are excited about?

A: The Eight in Seattle, an incredibly cool office building, 1550 On The Green, right in the heart of Downtown Houston, Heming at 1800 Chain Bridge, a mixed-use building in Washington D.C. and 380 Stuart, a net-zero building in Boston.

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About Mark Nieto

Mark comes to ConnectCRE with an extensive background as a business and news reporter in San Francisco radio, as well as 35 years as a traffic reporter on several stations including KGO, KNBR, KCBS and KFRC. As a business reporter, Mark covered the tech world in Silicon Valley where he became familiar with real estate transactions in the hot Bay Area marketplace. He attended San Jose State University with a BA in Radio and TV Broadcasting and currently resides in the Lake Tahoe area where he gets to frequently enjoy all of his favorite activities: Golfing, Fishing, Hiking and Skiing.

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