About Kimberly Williamson

Kimberly Williamson is a cofounder of Simply Well Communities, a business in residence at the Green Garage of Detroit. Simply Well is a property development company dedicated to encouraging the health of people, places and the planet. Kimberly holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology Marriage & Family Therapy with a specialization in Applied Community Psychology. She resides with her husband Lawrence in the Historic Boston Edison neighborhood of Detroit Michigan.

Walk with us, part 4 – It’s about You!

This is the fourth and final post in a four-part series co-authored by Kimberly Williamson and Matthew Piper exploring walkability and the El Moore. Recently, on a tour of several apartment communities, I kept hearing the term “walkable” being used when features such as sidewalks (which really led to nowhere interesting) and green spaces (in the middle of parking lots) were highlighted. This was unfortunate, in that it essentially reduced walkability to infrastructure. I say this because the most fundamental feature of what is considered a walkable neighborhood was missing…people! There was not one person visible in what was being touted as a walkable space. Walkability is a big part of what is driving development around the country, but at the end of … [Read more...]

Stories of the El Moore – The Architect

Please join me in a conversation with Ted Berlinghof, the architect behind our El Moore project. Ted shares some of his insights regarding our grand castle and a particularly interesting story on how one would have previously been instructed to exit the building in case of a fire - just a clue, this method would certainly not have passed building code today :) https://soundcloud.com/el-moore-detroit/ted-berlinghof-short-01         … [Read more...]

Walk with us, part 1: what’s in a mile?

This is the first in a four-part series co-authored by Kimberly Williamson and Matthew Piper exploring walkability and the El Moore. We frequently refer to the El Moore project as an ongoing exploration of the nature of sustainable urban living. There's a lot that factors into a more sustainable way of living in cities; one crucial element is a robust “transit ecosystem,” where the choice to walk, bike, or use public transportation is as viable as the choice to travel by car. Here in the Motor City, where we have spent generations prioritizing auto travel at the expense of other modes of transit, we’re starting to better understand how important these alternatives are for individual and community well-being, long-term economic viability, and the general health of our local … [Read more...]

Rescuer of the Railings – Tom Delaney

Tom Delaney is no stranger to the El Moore. The local real estate professional first become aware of the building during an Urban Land Institute tour of Midtown back in 2005. He became more intimately acquainted with it a few years later, during an auction of some of the building's contents, when he found himself in a bidding war over the fate of the beautiful, cast iron railings that originally graced the El Moore's balconies. Tom prevailed and won the bid, and for his efforts, he was able to take home an integral part of a building he describes as one of the most beautiful he has ever seen, with the hope that one day, the railings would be returned to their original grandeur. (At the time, that took some imagining; the El Moore had been vacant for years and the beauty of the elegant, … [Read more...]

The Gathering

When we speak of community as being one of our triple bottom line margins for the El Moore project, to be clear we are including the people who already have a relationship with the El Moore because of their proximity to the El Moore site – our neighbors. What exactly is the best way to get to know your neighbors? Turns out the same holds true for a building project as it does for any individual family - you invite them over! And having something to snack on is usually a good idea. So that is what we had an opportunity to do on Oct 18. Just as when you are having guests, you usually have to tidy things up a bit, get your invites out…etc. To help with getting the word out we called on Kevin Gardner, a designer at the Green Garage, to first design us a unique sign to explain our mystery … [Read more...]

Insights – Sue Mosey

If you know anything about the happenings in Midtown Detroit, you know that Sue Mosey, President of Midtown Detroit Inc., has been leading the charge to see to it that Midtown thrives as both a neighborhood and business center - no wonder she has come to be affectionately known as the "mayor of Midtown".  Sue has a knack for knowing which people to work with to ensure successful development projects and as such, it's not surprising that she approached the Green Garage team with the idea of bringing life back to the El Moore. I was fortunate to sit down for a few minutes to listen to Sue share about her involvement with the El Moore project: Question: You have been involved with the development of Midtown for quite some time. What has been your experience with the El Moore … [Read more...]

Insights- DJ Monahan

If you have been keeping up with our construction blog posts, you know that the El Moore is a complex building project with ambitious sustainability goals. As such, it was critical to retain not just a highly competent general contractor but one that shared the same triple bottom line values  as the El Moore project team. The Monahan Company fit the bill as a company that values history (it's a four generation family company) with a proven track record for excellence. I had an opportunity to sit down with DJ Monahan recently. I was curious about his perspective on the El Moore project given the fact that he comes from a long line of contractors and has himself been working in the field for more than 20 years. He has seen a lot – but I was sure he hadn’t experienced anything quite like … [Read more...]

El Moore Insights – Tom Prister

When it comes to a project like the El Moore, with its myriad, interconnected details that all require special attention, it’s an understatement to say that it is imperative to have good leadership and oversight. The success of the project, of course, depends on a successful team effort, and at the helm of the El Moore construction team is Tom Prister with the Monahan Company. Tom has enjoyed a career with Monahan for over 25 years, managing a diverse array of project assignments including schools, hospitals, commercial spaces, and apartment buildings. Tom’s role is the on-site project manager. He’s responsible for scheduling,, overseeing the installations of all materials, and coordinating all the trades,– all of this working together to make sure that the project finishes on time and on … [Read more...]