Kemi Akande ’19, 2018 Summer Intern at Historic Boston, Inc.


My name is Kemi Akande, and I am the summer intern at Historic Boston, Inc. I am a rising senior at Wellesley College, where I am pursuing a degree in Economics and Africana Studies. Through the Commercial Real Estate Success Training (CREST) Program, which offers women and minority college students internships with commercial real estate companies, I was matched with Historic Boston, Inc. due to my personal and academic interests. Over the course of my internship, I have been introduced to the basics of the Commercial Real Estate industry through CREST workshops and my own independent research project at HBI .

As HBI pursues new projects, I have joined the staff to brainstorm creative uses for new properties, in order to suitably adapt the spaces to the evolving real estate scene. In particular, co-working space is one industry of commercial real estate that has expanded exponentially in the last decade. In an attempt to explore this trend, I was tasked with brainstorming how HBI might be able to create a co-working space for the Roxbury community. To begin, I researched the existing industry in Boston. The most challenging aspect of the project has been measuring the demand in the Roxbury area, as it is difficult to collect quantitative data. I have learned that it is easy to observe the high demand in Downtown, Back Bay, and Cambridge, from the areas’ high priced leases and the vast number of co-working companies that aim to service the demand. However, Roxbury and Dorchester experience lower commercial office prices and have only a handful of co-working spaces that service entrepreneurs in the area.

As my internship comes to a close, I will present my project findings as a business proposal to the rest of the staff, having measured the demand as best indicators allow me. Overall, the analysis will measure the viability of creating a co-working space in new buildings acquired by HBI. My hope is that HBI will be able to implement the ideas into one of the properties, if suitable for the community.