Gregory Minott, Principal of DREAM Collaborative, LLC

Born in Jamaica to chemical engineer and real estate broker parents, and raised among a large extended family of teachers, mathematicians, chemists, artists, and poets, Gregory Minott was influenced by creativity and high academic achievement early on. These influences helped shape his career trajectory.

At age thirteen, Gregory took interest in the construction of his family’s new home.  Visits to the project site, opportunities to examine blueprints, and conversations with his father about construction materials and design elements cultivated his interest in architecture and design. Gregory earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture, and in 1999 moved to the U.S. where he earned dual master’s degrees in architecture and infrastructure planning at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Today, Mr. Minott is co-founder and Principal of DREAM Collaborative, a premier urban redevelopment architecture and master planning firm in Boston. Not only does he run this leading firm with co-founder Troy Depeiza, Mr. Minott is deeply involved in local communities, often participating in events related to design, architecture, urban revitalization, and sustainability.

Recently, we spoke to Mr. Minott about community development and the role that economic development corporations (EDCs) and community development corporations (CDCs) fill in the communities they serve.

DREAM Collaborative has crafted its own approach to engaging community members on projects. Why is that process so important in community development?

G.M. – The communities we serve have experienced a lot of disinvestment over the years and have been plagued by some very damaging urban renewal ideas that instead of bringing positive renewal, displaced residents and damaged neighborhoods. The leveling of entire city blocks for the proposed Inner Belt highway extension through Jamaica Plain and Roxbury in the 1960s is a notorious example. Over the decades, through the strength of residents who stayed and organized and advocated for re-investment, these neighborhoods are starting down the path to healthier redevelopment. We prioritize community engagement because we understand the importance of tapping into that wisdom. We recognize that the circumstances that created the need for community development date back long before we arrived on the scene.

DREAM Collaborative partnered with Dorchester Bay EDC on development projects, and you’re a donor. What aspects of our mission moved you to donate and support our work?

G.M. – DREAM Collaborative and Dorchester Bay have strong mission alignment. Dorchester Bay takes a holistic approach to building stronger communities and we believe this is the right way to create sustainable, positive results in the community. The people at DBEDC are also great to work with!

Dorchester Bay EDC: From your perspective, why are community development and organizations like Dorchester Bay an important resource to the communities they serve?

G.M. – CDCs and EDCs are deeply rooted and authentically invested in the communities they serve so when they are well-managed – like Dorchester Bay – they can be very effective and nimble when it comes to addressing the specific challenges their neighbors face.

To learn more about DREAM Collaborative’s work, visit http://dreamcollaborative.com/.