Development Associate


Employment Opportunity

Element is a commercial real estate advisory firm that provides development consulting and leasing services for owners and entrepreneurs in walkable, urban neighborhoods in the Minneapolis / St. Paul metro. Founded in 2015 and based in Minneapolis, Element works with clients who are passionate about their businesses and communities and explore the “what ifs” of their projects. By employing a business model with a balance of development consulting and leasing services, Element can consider projects from different perspectives, adding understanding and creating opportunities. The dual perspective of having a team of developers and brokers allows us to provide greater value, ultimately enabling us to drive what’s possible for our clients. 

We are looking for a Development Associate to join our growing body of work with non-profit, public sector, and for-profit clients who are pursuing their development projects. This role will provide essential support across many stages of real estate development projects, from initial due diligence, through construction and financing closeout. There are many paths into the field of real estate development, and we welcome applicants who bring experience from related fields, such as project management, construction trades, design, or property management. By joining us, you will have a rare opportunity to be a part of a wide range of commercial real estate activities including development, leasing, and historic renovation in walkable urban neighborhoods of the Twin Cities.  

If you are interested, please send a cover letter and a resume to:

JoAnna Hicks


111 Washington Ave. N, Suite 200

Minneapolis, MN  55401

(612) 201-7598

Element is an equal opportunity employer and we encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply.

JOB TITLE:       Development Associate

REPORTS TO:   Director of Development


Part-time, Full-time, or Contract positions will be considered: the job may include occasional evening meetings and requires minimal anticipated travel mostly within the Twin Cities greater area.  Must be available to work the equivalent of approximately four days a week within the office on average and the equivalent of one day from home, but may also have the opportunity to work remotely at times.

START DATE:  May 2024

COMPENSATION:  $55,000 - $70,000 based on experience

BENEFITS (adjusted by PT/FT status):

·     Flexible schedule

·     Health Insurance

·     HSA

·     Paid Time Off

·     401K + match

·     Paid Holidays

·     Professional development assistance


As Development Associate, you will work directly with theDirector of Development providing essential support across many stages of real estate development projects, from initial due diligence through construction and financing closeout. Your role will encompass a variety of projects for individual for-profit owners, non-profit organizations, public entities, and/or working as a consultant on a limited facet of a project.    

This position will include supporting project teams and various deliverables for multiple projects throughout each year, as well as building replicable processes for future projects.  


Construction Due Diligence:

  • Review, manage, and maintain contracts with architects, engineers, contractors, and subcontractors for a project
  • Assist in identifying potential risks and challenges throughout the construction process
  • Devise effective risk mitigation strategies to ensure project success
  • Draft small RFPs for services
  • Request and compare vendor proposals for services, not limited to: Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) reports, title company services, ALTA surveys, architectural services, physical building inspection reports, structural assessments, roof reviews, Mechanical, electrical, fire sprinkler, plumbing (MEFP) building assessment reviews, capital improvements assessments, property/asset management service proposals
  • Compile, organize, and maintain comprehensive documentation, including surveys, permits, contracts, and financial records, facilitating streamlined due diligence processes for the future
  • Written memos summarizing findings and proposing recommendations to owners.

Project & Construction Management:

  • Review and report on detailed project plans and deliverables.
  • Review contractor fee proposals and scopes of work, and make recommendations to the manager based on findings.
  • Review architectural plan sets and provide written comments.
  • Utilize project management software to prepare schedules, create and manage team tasks
  • Regularly report against project progress and milestones
  • Review and track requests for information from the architect.
  • Monitor project expenditures against established budget and contingency
  • Regularly visit the job site, provide written site reviews, document, and circulate observations.
  • Review completed construction work by the contractor for quality and accuracy against drawings.
  • Review change requests against architect pricing requests.
  • Attend and track against punch lists.
  • Review contractor payment applications and recommend for payment or correction.
  • Provide access for others to job sites, walk vendors through scopes of work on-site
  • Collect and organize contracts and project documents
  • Maintain electronic file organization for various projects
  • Attend meetings and take project meeting minutes


Real Estate Strategy & Construction Administration:

  • Grow and document a list of reliable local vendors who can service projects
  • Demonstrate a commitment to improved and streamlined systems for project management
  • Support the company’s continuous development, and as needed, create, manage, and update relevant project tools and deliverables
  • Identify and explore new ideas, concepts, and tools to provide more sustainable real estate solutions.
  • Identify and explore opportunities to continue professional growth by relevant certifications, education, etc.
  • Commitment to understanding and knowing the company core values, mission, and elevator pitch of who we are and what we do.

Skills, Knowledge, and Personal Characteristics:

  • Strong Microsoft Excel skills or experience
  • Strong Microsoft 365 Teams and Office skills, ability to leverage technology
  • Ability to develop a detailed schedule (familiarity with Smartsheet, Project, or other critical path project management software is a plus)
  • Independently manage a schedule and attend commitments
  • Ability to work with deadlines and under pressure
  • Ability to work with multiple types of software and a focus on paperless organization
  • Concise and effective verbal and written communications
  • Report regularly and actively in an organized fashion to a supervisor
  • Detail and service-oriented
  • Knowledge of Procore or other construction management software
  • Ability to work with Adobe Acrobat Pro to create, adjust or comment on documents


Other Preferred Experience:

  • Experience in Project Management, Construction Trades, Real Estate, Community Economic Development, or related field
  • Experience adjacent to Finance/Budgets (either for-profit or non-profit)
  • Experience adjacent to design and/or construction fields
  • Ability to commute, be in the office or work remotely
  • Comfort working alone in an office as well as with others around


Education & Experience:

  • Technical degree or equivalent experience
  • 2-4+ years of experience in a related field
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