The Built World Podcast with Michael Tillman- CEO & Co-Founder of PTM Partners

From smuggling sodas to running an Asian-focused hedge fund, Michael Tillman has had some adventures in business. 

We hear his story and follow along as he went from accountant, to hotel manager for a week, to real estate developer. Currently his firm, PTM Partners, focuses on ground-up development in designated opportunity zones across the nation. 

Michael’s enthusiasm is contagious; and he enjoys what he does so much he even makes dense tax bills fun to talk about.  

Please find this episode of The Built World on Spotify or on iTunes.

Recommended Reading: April 2022

Recommended Readings: Winter 2022

Below are some of our favorite articles from the last two months which will likely resonate with our readers.

Real Estate

Commercial Real Estate Is Seen as an Inflation Hedge, but That Isn’t Always the Case (WSJ) Midtown Manhattan With Fewer Office Workers: Imagining the Unthinkable (WSJ) As Baby Boomers Retire, Developers Bet Urban Senior Living Will Take Off (WSJ) Supply-Chain Chaos Is Great for Warehouse Stocks (WSJ) Home Builders Bypassing Individual Home Buyers for Deep-Pocketed Investors (WSJ ) Wooden Skyscrapers Are on the Rise (WSJ) The American property market is once again looking bubbly from The Economist (WSJ)

Urbanism & Mobility

The Architect Who Mastered Low-Rise, High-Density Housing (Bloomberg) Self-Driving Trucks Start to Propel Land Rush Near Major Cities (WSJ) Your pictures on the theme of ‘urban landscape’ (BBC) Austin Wants Mass Transit, but Infrastructure Law Will Give It Bigger Highway (WSJ) Downtown Need to Change to Survive (The Atlantic) Pedestrians Killed by Drivers Rose 17% in First Half of 2021 (WSJ) How Drones and Robots With A.I. Will Deliver Your Online Order Fast (WSJ) The Next Austin? What Companies Will Look for in a Headquarters City (WSJ)

Entrepreneurship, Management, Leadership & Sales

How to make hybrid work a success from The Economist (The Economist) Six People You Meet in the Pandemic Workplace (WSJ) The New Post-60 Career Paths (WSJ)

Economics

The Roundup: Top Takeaways from Oaktree’s Quarterly Letter-1Q2022 (Oaktree)Oil Price Rise ‘Trickles Down to Everything,’ Even Your Potato Salad to Go (WSJ)
America’s Business Challenge Can Be Told in Two Words: Disc Golf (WSJ)

Stoicism, Health & Wellness

Camille Herron: American ultrarunner breaks own 100-mile women’s world record

(BBC) A Dutch adventurer chronicles two years traveling by bicycle (Washington Post) The Hot New Class at Your Gym? Resting (WSJ) Wall Street Bets on Gym Chains’ Getting Back in Shape (WSJ) Japan is searching for the secrets to healthy old age from (The Economist) Six Exercises to Ease Joint Pain and Improve Stability (WSJ)

The 305 & Etc.

Dave Barry: A guide to living in Miami, FL for New Yorkers (Miami Herald) 8 weird things about Miami that you just get used to (Timeout) Miami Boutique Office Tower Planned as Companies Hunt for Space (Bloomberg) Dreaming of the Perfect Mojito in South Florida (WSJ) How not to be a dick in Miami (Timeout) Miami Is Opening a 10-mile Walking Path With Native Plants, Public Art, and Thousands of Butterflies (Travel and Leisure) Prehistoric Human Remains Found at Miami Development Site (WSJ) A 16-year-old from India has beaten world chess champion Magnus Carlsen (NPR)

The CinderFit Story: Building a New Fitness Brand From Scratch

“In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity.” -Albert Einstein

My now business partner and I have been workout bros since 2013. Takeo and I met at a local crossfit gym in Miami, but it wasn’t until about 2 years ago that we became business partners. In March 2020, with gyms closed and fitness equipment impossible to find, we had to get creative with our workouts, so a week into the Covid-19 quarantine we picked up a few cinder blocks I had in my backyard and we started using them to workout with. Although the cinder blocks were rough on the hands, we found them to be an extremely versatile and functional strength training tool. 

We jokingly began calling our weekly cinder block workouts CinderFit. A few friends from the gym started to join us for the weekly outdoor CinderFit workouts which involved a farmers’ carry around the block a couple of times and stopping to complete 9 exercise stations along the way:

  • 30 x thrusters
  • 30 x deadlifts
  • 30 x plyo-push ups
  • 30 x overhead lunges
  • 30 x squats
  • 30 x presses
  • 30 x cinder block swings
  • 30 x step-ups 
  • 30 x dips

We also discovered  there was an entire subculture of fitness enthusiasts posting cinder block workouts online. Takeo has a background in product development and for the last ten years his company, i2GO, has been designing and manufacturing electronics accessories in China for wholesale in Latin America. With his product design background, Takeo suggested that we design cinder blocks to workout with. I told him he was crazy. 

In my 20’s I served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala where I saw the ubiquitous cinder block was used not only for constructing buildings, but for furniture too. During my time in Guatemala, I saw cinder blocks used as shelving, beds, benches, etc. In many ways the cinder block has quite a beautiful, yet simple, modern design to it. 

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The Built World Podcast with Tigre Wenrich-CEO, Venture Labs

Today, we are joined by Tigre Wenrich, CEO of Lab Ventures. Lab Ventures is a Miami-based venture capital firm which invests in early stage PropTech companies. In this episode we talk about what is “PropTech”, angel investing, deal flow, building pipeline, real estate CRMs (Customer Relationship Management) and incubating new companies at Lab Venture’s studio. We also learn about some of the companies Lab Ventures has  invested in including:  Lumi House, Expetitle, Beycom, Node and The Build Club

Please find this episode of The Built World on Spotify or on iTunes.

The Built World podcast with Meg Daly – Founder, The Underline

As Meg Daly confronted two broken arms challenging her mobility, she found herself riding the Metrorail and reflecting on Miami’s lack of pedestrian infrastructure and park space.  Turning to her father and partner, Parker Thomson, they formed a coalition and executed on a plan to fund a $140 million linear park that will span 10 miles, now named The Underline.

In this episode, Daly opens up about the genesis of that project, how she got it funded, and mobilized the community to enhance connectivity in Miami.  We also discuss the powerful role disruption can play in redefining our infrastructure & public spaces.

She challenges us with a call to civic engagement, imploring us to lead movements that will change how we interact with our cities.  Or, as she put it in the interview, “don’t just applaud from the sidelines.”  

Please find this episode of The Built World on Spotify or on iTunes.