Building a better Birmingham: meet the team shaking things up at Orchestra Partners

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Friendly competition. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

If you live in Birmingham, you’ve seen the work of Orchestra Partners across town. This real estate development firm is a little different from the rest, focusing on historical buildings and breathing new life into Birmingham’s core neighborhoods. Learn more about their team and the work they’re doing to make Birmingham a better place to live!

Caroline Jenkins, development associate

Caroline Jenkins, development associate. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now 

Caroline Jenkins joined Orchestra Partners a little over a year ago. After working in affordable housing in Knoxville, she was drawn back to Birmingham by Orchestra Partners’ revitalization work.

Caroline worked on the second phase of Founder’s Station, which has totally changed Morris Ave. downtown. It’s hard to believe that eighteen months ago we didn’t have The Essential, Pilcrow Cocktail Cellar or Cayo Coco!

“Our goal is to build a better Birmingham, and I truly believe we’re doing that,” said Jenkins. “Everyone here is working toward that goal, which is awesome.”

Caroline’s favorite part about Birmingham?  “I love the diversity here and the mix of people,” she said. “It gives a lot of character and soul to our city.”

Phillip Dawson, property manager

Phillip Dawson, property manager. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now 

Philip Dawson is a lifelong Birmingham resident. The work he’s doing at Orchestra Partners, which includes developments like Founders Station, makes him proud to be from Birmingham.

“It makes you appreciate being from Birmingham, seeing our history and seeing a renaissance taking place,” said Dawson.“More people want to come downtown for business, to live, and I think any city needs that urban core.”

So what does Philip like most about Orchestra Partners? “It’s pretty apparent,” he said. “If you look at the projects, no one else is really doing this type of work. [The focus on] the historic aspect of Birmingham is what sets Orchestra apart.”

Jeremy Pearson, development associate

Jeremy Pearson, development associate. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now 

Before starting at Orchestra Partners, Pearson was working as a project manager for a local construction firm. He decided to make the change because of Orchestra’s impact on our community. Pearson said the team is motivated by pushing the city forward–a city in which most of them grew up.

“Being lucky enough to find meaning in what you do beyond daily tasks makes it easier to fight through tough days and makes good days that much better,” he said.

Jeremy’s favorite project with Orchestra so far is The Woolworth. “Seeing that wrap up and the immediate turnaround and impact it had on the Five Points area was a great way to start and reaffirmed what I thought about the company before I joined.”

The day-to-day

Although they’re results-oriented, you can tell this team knows how to have a good time.

“It’s a very close-knit culture,” said Dawson. “We’re driven by performance, but it’s not super strict. Everyone is given freedom to do their job and make decisions. People want to be trusted to do their jobs, and everyone here is.”

Building a culture, building a city

Planning the next big project for Birmingham? Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

Because Orchestra Partners is a young company, they’re building a company culture while simultaneously building a better Birmingham. According to Pearson, “Not only are we trying to develop ourselves to be better professionals, but also becoming more cohesive as a family and doing things together.”

The team said people aren’t afraid to ask questions and challenge the status quo–which is the only way to move things forward in the workplace and the community.

Learn more

If you want to learn more about Orchestra Partners and their projects, check out their website. If you’re interested in working for Orchestra Partners, you can submit your resume and a statement of purpose here. Whenever a position becomes available, they will consider resumes/letters on file first.

Great work, y’all!

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Taylor Babington
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