At 81, luxury hotel developer Dick Friedman shows no signs of slowing down, with projects open in New Orleans and Reykjavik


Five years later, the Charpentier & Cie. the general manager celebrates the result of this conversation: a space of 253 rooms Marriott Edition newly opened hotel on Reykjavik’s seafront. It was not always easy, building a hotel on an island during a pandemic. Friedman estimates that COVID-19 delayed the project by more than a year. Shortages of supplies and workers slowed things down.

But at 81, Friedman shows no signs of slowing down. The man who developed the Freedom and the Charles Hotels in Boston and Cambridge and the Four Seasons The One Dalton Tower in Back Bay is once again at work. In August, Friedman and Alain Leventhal opened a new Four Seasons hotel in the redeveloped New Orleans World Trade Center tower overlooking the Mississippi River. And he’s preparing permits for a Four Seasons project in Dallas, with support from Ross Perot Jr. and the sisters of Perot.

“This is not typical and it is not expected that there will be so many [at once]”Friedman said.

Meanwhile, condo sales have been buoyant at One Dalton, Boston’s super-luxury tower block with the new Four Seasons that opened in 2019. A Carpenter spokesperson cites more than $ 260 million in sales. since the March 2020 pandemic. Friedman and his wife are among the recent arrivals, having moved from Cambridge to the 49th floor.

The travel industry has been disrupted by the pandemic. Leisure travel has rebounded, while business travel lags – a divergence that Friedman says bodes well for top tourist destinations such as Iceland. Friedman is taking the latest COVID wave in stride and noted an airplane ride he made from Boston to Reykjavik a few weeks ago that was crowded.

“Obviously, it’s a fear [but] in the company we’re in, you do these things for the long haul, ”Friedman said. “Iceland in particular is on everyone’s list.”

Power struggles ahead?

Is it still dark outside? Executives who run New England’s power plants fear it will get even darker.

The precariousness of the region’s electricity grid was a pressing topic at the New England Energy Summit, which the New England Power Producers Association hosted last week at Seaport hotel.

The recent referendum vote in Maine against a Avangrid The project – a power line that would bring hydroelectricity from Canada to Massachusetts – was still fresh in the minds of the 120 participants. The region is moving towards more renewable energy, thanks to offshore wind and solar, but owners of natural gas power plants say they must continue to be part of the mix.

Mike harrington, an energy consultant and representative for the state of New Hampshire, asked a panel of energy officials what would happen if a bad winter storm struck, blanketing solar panels in snow and shutting down wind turbines.

” What are we doing ? Harrington said.

Cheryl LaFleur, the moderator of the event and former member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, responded, “Is this a question or a comment? “

To which Harrington replied, “Maybe it’s a bit of both.”

Big names, easy changes.

Advertising veteran Joe berkeley has worked with a number of demanding subjects over the years. But the three former US presidents featured in his latest ad were not among them.

A 60-second spot promoting the National Medal of Honor Museum by the eponymous Hull-based Berkeley production company Joe Berkeley LLC, debuted last month at a Fox sports broadcast of a Denver BroncosDallas Cowboys Thu. At this place, Barack obama, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush urged viewers to support an effort to build the museum, in Arlington, Texas. Berkeley expects the ad to also air on the giant screen at the Cowboys’ home, AT&T Stadium; Charlotte jones, daughter of the Cowboys owner Jerry jones, chairs the museum’s board of directors. In fundraising mode right now, the council hopes to innovate next year.

Berkeley, a former Vacation on the hill executive, who went out on his own in 2013, said a number of local colleagues helped with the museum project, including: Tim foley (artistic director), Shondra burke (editor), Mark hankey (producer), Tom’s love (audio mixer), and Phil Choé (colorist).

Due to the pandemic, Berkeley was unable to film the three former presidents in person. But the politicians themselves were quite gracious; all three are honorary members of the museum’s board of directors.

“I’m a man who’s edited scripts for breakfast sandwiches more times than I can count,” Berkeley said. “The former rulers of the free world had fewer copy changes than those who trafficked prestigious sausages. I think they changed a word.

You know what? Take on Friday.

First, in 2014, Inkwell General manager Beth monaghan offered unlimited vacations to his public relations firm Waltham. Then she banned late night emails.

Now she has a few more tickets to hand out, including every other Friday off, starting Jan. 1. She told her 130 employees about the new “flexible Fridays” last week. Workers will team up with each other to provide customer coverage. Other new benefits include: full office closure the week of July 4 (Inkhouse already closes the week after Christmas), 20 weeks of paid parental leave (instead of 16), and a $ 2,500 bonus for employees on the job. occasion of their fifth anniversary.

This is Monaghan’s latest effort to focus on this never-ending quest for work-life balance.

“I think every business leader walked into COVID thinking that once it was over, everything would be back to normal,” Monaghan said. “What everyone found out was that he uncovered some of the issues we’ve had with the workplace since time immemorial. I feel like it just took something big to wake everyone up.

More weeks in business

It wasn’t business as usual for “This Week in Business” on Sunday. After more than 18 years of commentary on the Boston economic scene, the weekly NECN show ended for good.

The show launched amid the embers of the dot-com bust, with the head of the Greater Boston Room at the time Paul Guzzi stand up to a business reporter Marc Mills. (then governor Mitt Romney was the first guest.) Subsequent hosts over the years have included NECN mainstays Mike nikitas, Peter Howe, and Brian burnell, the host who said goodbye to TWIB, as it’s known internally, on Sunday. The show’s final segment typically features prominent Boston-area journalists; The Boston Globe‘s Shirley Leung and Doug banks from Boston Business Journal have been regulars for years. Through it all, producer Mimi Wishner Segel that everything is going well behind the scenes.

The half-hour format allowed for a continuous flow of high profile guests. Recent visitors included Catherine D’Amato, general manager of the Greater Boston Food Bank; Kevin churchwell, general manager of Boston Children’s Hospital; and Alexandra Fuchs, Chief Operating Officer at Boston Symphony Orchestra.

“It’s been 18 years; I feel like we’re getting ready to send someone to college, ”Leung said in the dying minutes of the final show. “During this time, the Boston area has become an economic powerhouse, and this show reflected that growth.”

Jon Chesto can be reached at Follow him on twitter @jonchesto.


Comments are closed.