Chesterman Properties

Koo's Corner, interior

Robert Brown Resume

Robert Brown created Chesterman Properties in 1997. Robert brings thirty years of real estate experience to Chesterman, and forty-eight years of life experience! He grew up in Glasgow, Scotland and trained as a Chartered Surveyor, starting in 1979. After participating in many aspects of real estate in the UK including sales and acquisitions, development management, planning, and appraisal he came to Vancouver in 1988 at age 26. He spent his first three years in Vancouver as a leasing and sale agent with Arix Realty Corp. In 1991 he met his wife-to-be Nancy and (purely coincidentally) that same year he started a boutique retail brokerage firm – Pioneer Pacific Realty – with two partners. They grew it to 11 employees. In 1994, Robert and Nancy and several other co-founders created the not for profit Canadian Business for Social Responsibility. Robert’s hope was that this organization could help businesses be a more positive influence in our communities. That same year, Robert supported Nancy to open a socially responsible gift store – HOPE Unlimited – on West 4th Avenue in Vancouver. The following year Robert began volunteering as a Board member with Tradeworks Training Society, which provides job training and employment support to people in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

In 1997 Robert sold his shares in Pioneer. He then created Chesterman with the goal of undertaking developments that are thoughtful, beautiful and inspiring.

In 1998 he started developing his first project, Ardencraig. It started like any other conventional townhouse project and Robert would never classify himself as an environmentalist. However, after meeting some environmental activists and visiting both the clearcuts and pristine valleys of Clayoquot Sound, Robert “joined the dots” between his development work and the state of our environment. He wanted to prove that it could be done differently, more sympathetically. So after some travelling and thinking Robert returned to Vancouver and took the design and planning of Ardencraig in a distinctly “green” direction. With the help of many, they completed Ardencraig in 2000 and it received the Mayors Environmental Achievement Award and Chesterman received an Ethics in Action Award.

The following year – 2001 – Robert and Nancy were blessed with the birth of their daughter Faith. Like many parents, Robert now had a connection to something more important than himself or his work. Faith also helped Robert think further into the future. (She also gave him the excuse to be “goofy” more often!)

At work, it was clear, however, that Chesterman’s small scale projects like Ardencraig would not significantly shift the building industry towards more sustainable practices. So in 2001 Robert, and business partner Heather Tremain, created a green building consulting company – reSource Rethinking Building. Through reSource we consulted with many of Vancouver’s largest developers and institutions to help “transform the way buildings are built”. In the seven years that followed, reSource impacted an estimated 22 million square feet of development and supported some highly innovative and leading edge projects. During this time Robert continued with the development of smaller scale residential projects. In 2003 he completed Koo’s Corner and in 2006 he completed Five, where he now lives with Nancy and Faith.

In 2008, Robert and Heather felt that reSource had done what it was meant to do and it was time to “roll up the tent” and pursue other individual passions. Later in 2008 (with more time and space in his life) Robert started as a volunteer Board member with Compassionate Eye Foundation – a non profit which supports education, health and economic development programs in developing countries.

Robert has now re-focused on Chesterman Properties and is excited to continue its work in creating beautiful space in which people can thrive.

In addition to market projects Robert also loves to work with partnership with non profit organisations to assist them in leveraging real estate assets to further their mission.