Our areas of strength and expertise include mixed-use, hotel, adaptive re-use, student housing, and multi-family residential development.
Benchmark’s primary region of influence and activity is in the Northeast. We concentrate on the secondary and tertiary markets with strong demand generators such as vibrant downtowns, resort areas, colleges and universities, and high-tech centers.
The principals at Benchmark Development, Michael Charles and Brian Cohan, are both residents of Berkshire County, Massachusetts. Our approach to development leverages the strength of personal relationships. We believe that through dialogue and face-to-face meetings the true opportunities for the success of a project are uncovered.
We build great teams, identify the issues, develop solutions, and then create an exceptional project vision. This coordinated method of teamwork, discovery, and preparation lays the ground work for success in every project we develop.
Michael Charles brings 20 years of experience in design, construction, and land development to the Benchmark team. With particular expertise in project programming, building design, and construction management, Michael has led numerous development efforts from concept to completion. Leveraging the inherent strength of multi-functional design teams, he successfully compresses delivery lead-times and ensures that client needs and expectations are fully integrated into buildable and cost effective designs. Incorporating best practices and performance benchmarks into our standard design and construction protocol is a key part of Michael’s area of expertise and responsibility.
Michael began his professional career as a productivity and management consultant with Accenture Consulting in New York City. From there, Michael spent the next 20 years growing a residential design/build firm in Western Massachusetts that specializes in high-end residential construction services.
Brian Cohan has been a real estate development professional for over 18 years. He entered the business as a Regional Director of Development for a national hotel franchise company. He spent his early years learning all facets of development while successfully reaching the goals for his position. Brian later formed his own development firm and has been an owner and managing partner for a number of projects and partnerships over the past 13 years. Those ventures have included the organization and startup of two separate development companies. The first was a hotel development and management company that has gone on to develop 12 Marriott and Hilton hotels and is still actively developing, managing, and owning hotels.
Brian was also instrumental in the startup of a second commercial development company. During his four years with this regional development firm, Brian was responsible for launching the firm’s student housing division, and he helped build a team of 10 development professionals with the capacity to develop over $100 million in new projects annually.
Benchmark pursues development opportunities for its own account and as a Fee Developer for others seeking the expertise and resources required to properly structure, program, finance, and deliver highly successful projects.
Development partners often include property owners interested in maximizing an asset value, other developers requiring additional resources for a given project, and investment groups or non-profit organizations needing assistance in establishing and achieving the highest and best use for a site.
The team at Benchmark Development offers in-depth capabilities in the following areas: