CUBE keynote: What Greater Cleveland can learn from a groundbreaking Boston project’s diversity model 

Omni Hotel $550-million project reframes what’s possible in Cleveland

Boston has some important lessons to share about advancing equity in construction. Greater Cleveland business leaders will have a chance to learn more on April 18.

GCP’s CUBE Symposium will feature a keynote panel on one of the most significant projects for minority contractors in Boston history: The $550 million seaport Omni Hotel.

Completed in 2021 to raves, the project featured 31% women and minority participation in the design; raised over $7 million in equity commitments and funds from minority investors; and recruited the largest Black-owned architecture firm in the nation, Moody Nolan, to Boston.

The project was inspired by a Massport Authority incentive “point” program. It also featured a joint venture between a majority and minority construction firm in which the minority firm was positioned to benefit from the long-term development of the project, including a doubling of its bonding capacity.

The diversity policies the “Massport Model” established are being shared nationwide.

On April 18, three of the major players in the project will share their visions at CUBE.  

“Too often equity inclusion strategies are thought about ‘downstream’ in a project. The Massport Model and Boston Omni Hotel Project prove that high priority, large scale  projects can be successfully completed leveraging diverse teams and creating new opportunities – new relationships that benefit many,” says Chris Nance, GCP Vice President, Construction & Inclusive Talent Initiatives.

“Greater Cleveland experienced a $20 billion building boom over the last decade – and yet we have only been able to track 5%  MBE participation during that same period. The Omni Hotel provides a model for re-framing our thinking as to what’s possible. The project raised the bar for minority and female participation across all phases of major construction project – from design development to construction to the operation of the hotel itself.”

The team that ultimately won the bid will be on the panel:

“It’s an incredible experiment. It has changed the understanding of what it means to do business in the city of Boston,” said Jackson in The Boston Globe.

The afternoon panel is just one highlight of CUBE 2023. The daylong event will include panels, workshops and lunch. Discussions will focus on:

  • Data and trends influencing the construction sector nationally and regionally.
  • Leaders who have successfully leveraged diverse teams, across project phases, sharing evidence of genuine partnership and wealth building with communities of color, especially minority business enterprises (MBEs).
  • Honest conversations led by MBEs, about the unique challenges of operating and growing a successful construction business.
  • Leveraging public policy, including community benefit agreements, to ensure that public investments flow in a more equitable way to communities of color, women and other historically underserved or marginalized groups.
  • Networking with construction sector eco-system leaders across our region and beyond.

Register here, and visit for updates.

Greater Cleveland Partnership’s All In vision for a Great Region on a Great Lake has five key priorities: Dynamic Business, Abundant Talent, Inclusive Opportunity, Appealing Community and Business Confidence. All of our work ties back to these values. This story relates to Dynamic Business and Inclusive Opportunity.


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