Today we’d like to introduce you to Gene Kansas.
Gene, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
There are many ways to get into real estate development, my introduction happens to be through writing. As a content developer for Turner Network Television I quickly realized many of my friends were the ones significantly contributing to the creative process, but also the ones making significantly less than other team members. Making a long story short, I gathered those friends and started an advertising agency. We focused on image and identity work and content development. One of our early projects was for a real estate development in Atlanta’s Inman Park neighborhood (before it was trendy and pricey). I wanted to showcase the things we enjoy about life – like where to get a great burger on a Tuesday night, the neighborhood’s best martini, places to see a show – instead of the typical square feet and plumbing fixtures other groups were marketing at the time (1997). To be true to the content we were developing, I immersed myself in the neighborhood and within a week had moved there. I loved the cultural and urban fabric the architecture and landscape provided, I enjoyed the surrounding history and art and people. In short, I loved the real estate.
From my experience in Inman Park, and from a wonderful and colorful childhood growing up in New Orleans, I very early on I began to think about real estate not solely as sticks and bricks, but as life. If you’re on the planet, then you are in real estate, be that on the top floor of a fancy office building or in a canoe on a river or driving down Peachtree or dancing in the streets during Mardi Gras. This interest in the built environment as a rich source of life eventually lead me to founding my own brokerage, investment and development firm, and that’s what I do today. At Gene Kansas | Commercial Real Estate we tend to focus on intown Atlanta, and work with companies and on projects that have a capacity to build community and contribute to the cultural context of our neighborhoods. For me, real estate is both a passion and a pursuit.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
There are always challenges. Some of those are market driven, some derive from lack of experience, other times the timing is just not right. I’ve had them all. But, you live and learn and hopefully work smarter the next time. When I look back, every jump and leap along the way has gotten me to where I am today, and for that I am happy and grateful.
Constellations – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
For 18 years, I have owned and operated Gene Kansas | Commercial Real Estate. While we do revitalize buildings, we’re really cultural developers, a firm driven by place and people and stories surrounding it. Recently, in August of this year, my partners and I launched Constellations. We’re a civic and social shared workspace operating on historic Auburn Avenue. As the name suggests, this is place for stars to come together and shine. When these stars connect, they create a picture. Pictures tell stories, and in our case, the story is the bigger picture.
At Constellations, we see our role as the provider of a platform for companies and individuals to do what they do and what they love. We’re here to support their goals and missions. We offer private offices, dedicated desks, co-working and amazing common areas for all to enjoy. People are really gravitating toward our podcast studio and the Milky Way Coffee Bar we have designed. But, the fresh baked cookies seem to be taking the cake, and that’s a cliché we’re proud to offer!
What sets us apart has to be our meaningful connection to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Historic District. We’re located in a historic 1910 building designed by famed architect Neel Reid. It was built as the Southern Schoolbook Depository. The neighborhood is the birthplace of Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement. To be able to offer a place for like-minded, engaged professionals to enjoy their work in a healthy and happy environment, with this caliber of history, makes us incredibly proud.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is a spectrum. Early on, I followed money, and I was never “successful”. Now I let passion lead the way. For me, when I am happy and healthy and helping others, I’m being successful.
- Private Offices & Private Studies from $1400/month
- Dedicated Desks starting at $450/month
- Coworking is $350/month
- Address: Constellations
135 Auburn Avenue NE
Atlanta, GA 30303
- Website: www.constellations.community
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @constellations.community
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/constellations.community/
Rendering by Cognitive Design
Gene Kansas | Commercial Real Estate