A Drink With Chris Regan

Developing coolness

December 31, 2006|By SLOANE BROWN | SLOANE BROWN,Special to the Sun

Chris Regan, 31, is a principal in the real estate development firm Tower Hill Development. Originally from Lawrence, Mass., Regan moved to Baltimore eight years ago to work with MuniMae, a real estate financial services company, before forming Tower Hill with partner Matt Hoffman in 2002. Married last July, he lives in Mount Vernon with wife Nicol, a publication designer.

How are you different than other real estate developers?

Tower Hill does mostly urban infill, mixed-use development. We basically try to reuse existing structures. ... One of the things that's unique about what we do is there's not a lot of people who can figure out how to do these small or midsize city projects. And we've been able to do them with some taste and some quality. And some coolness. Like this restaurant. The most recognizable is The Revels, a 13-unit condo project in Mount Vernon. We took a run-down building and rehabbed it into 13 luxe loft-style condos.

Coolness ... tell me about being cool.

I'd never describe myself as cool. But I have fairly strong opinions and I've never been afraid to let people know what they are. I think people who are true to themselves and authentic, some people find that cool.

What is fun about what you do?

Well, it's servicing my adult ADD. The nature of development allows me to deal with architecture and design, construction, finance, marketing, community relations. It really covers the gamut. Since I was a kid, I've had this innate need to make old things new, or things that are being wasted better.

Both you and your wife are into design, the look of things.

We're both fairly creative people. She also does watercolors. I like to say my canvas is old buildings.

What do the two of you like to do together?

One of the things I really love about Nicol is that she loves to spend time with her family. I've moved around a bit. I haven't had the family environment. We also go to the gym together. And we go out to dinner a lot.

What's your favorite restaurant?

The Helmand is, by far, our favorite. We love Sotta Sopra. We really enjoy the places we can walk to. And we can have a nice conversation with the owner.

You really like city living.

We both love city life. We're both city pushers. We love to entertain. Actually, that's another thing we do a lot. We have a house that's great for entertaining, with a large roof deck. So we've been working on sharpening our party-throwing skills.

Do you cook for your parties?

Cook? Yeah, we barbecue. I'm an excellent bartender.

Do you have a specialty drink?

The special drink [at our house] is the mojito. We've perfected the Mid-Atlantic Mojito.

What do you think people would be surprised to know about you?

I think that my aggressive attitude about some things is more about passion and caring rather than ego and ambition. ... [Also, that] I am often seen performing "Rapper's Delight," the single greatest rap song ever created. [I performed it] at my own wedding, after a few beverages.

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