2019 was a monumental year for our team, marked by the merger of Koman Group and Keeley Development Group to form KDG. These three letters hold a special meaning for us. The "K" honors both companies: Koman and Keeley, while the "DG" has a dual meaning, the first being "Development Group.” The second holds deeper meaning, however, and drives what we do every day – "Do Good." At KDG we are committed to doing good by investing in real estate that transforms and enhances the communities in which we work, live, and play.
Our KDG team is led by CEO, Rusty Keeley, and President, Jason Braidwood. The co-principals truly believe in the importance of creating and acting upon a firm’s Mission Statement, Vision, and Core Values. During the early stages of the merger, our executive team was charged with strategic planning to define these guiding principles.
Our team tackled the Mission first. The Mission Statement had to echo the purpose, drive, style, and differentiators of KDG. Far from an easy task, it had to represent everything that had distinguished our teams and our work over the past decade. During discussions, our team reflected on many aspects. First, we focused on the companies’ histories, both of which consistently view and treat teammates and clients as family. Then, we knew that we had to represent the growing team of diverse individuals, each with their own unique talents, interests, and ideas. Finally, our team focused on what the new company's identity would be – one that will continue to instill our leadership and reputation in the real estate industry. All of this was blended together in one simple statement full of meaning and history.
Breaking Down the KDG Mission Statement
We begin our Mission with INVEST due to its universal illustration of commitment. We indeed invest financially, providing proprietary capital to our projects, aligning our own success with that of our partners and lenders. Investment means more than monetary commitment, however; it is investing in property, public spaces and our owned buildings, to leave a mark and create an engaging environment for generations to come. It is investing in long-term relationships to make a difference, through our projects and those to come as a result of follow-on investment momentum. It is investing those resources more valuable than dollars and cents: the time, energy and support of our team and families.
Everything we do starts and ends with our people. We are a family, and as with any family, we want to see everyone happy and thriving. Our people are at the heart of our company, as they are the front-line experts; the caretakers of our clients and properties. Our people build deep, strong relationships with our clients, leading to personalized solutions throughout the development lifecycle. We truly would not be where we are today without our team.
As a fully integrated developer and owner, we are involved in all facets of real estate investment from inception to disposition. Our team specializes in site identification, incentives/specialty financing, construction management, branding, marketing, leasing, and property/asset management. Our developments include build-to-suit class A corporate campuses and multitenant office spaces, historic rehabs and adaptive reuse, infill developments, mixed use environments, and multifamily and student housing. Our real estate expertise provides a unique, best-in-class product and give our clients a tailored, high-touch, high-quality, and authentic experience from start to finish.
Strong, long-lasting relationships are the foundation of everything we do. Whether it's with our partners, tenants, or each other, building relationships allows our team to take on new projects with ease, be creative and responsive in providing a tailored experience, and guide our customers through the project lifecycle with unmatched knowledge and high-touch service. We will continue to strengthen relationships and foster new ones, empowered to exceed expectations for our customers as they make our properties their home for live, work, and play.
Activation is a dense word with a somewhat ambiguous meaning for most, but for us it means self-sustained economic environments that foster reinvestment. We tackle each project with a long-term approach that will bring both immediate and lasting impact to the community. Many of our developments foster an 18-hour environment, with activity from a mix of people and uses occurring day and night. Our world today is always on, always moving, and so we aim to create a sense of place and belonging. By building and strengthening communities through real estate investment, people are brought together in numerous ways and can feel like they are part of something bigger – a part of the culture.
At KDG, we invest in people and real estate to activate communities.
The KDG Core Values
As Koman Group merged with Keeley Development Group in the fall of 2019, our CEO, Rusty Keeley and our President, Jason Braidwood, brought our team together to identify the values that define us professionally as a business and together as a family. During our discussions, we found that our ideas were completely aligned and we had been living them as a team for more than a decade. We took these ideas and refined them into five distinct core values that fit into the acronym, INVEST, which directly relates back to our Mission.
Why the "i" in KDGi? The "i" in KDGi is not only representative of INVEST, our core values and purpose. It also represents our integrated approach to development, our innovative real estate platform that improves communities through the built environment, and our goal of investment with integrity, intent, and impact.
Integrity - We Deliver What We Promise
Integrity is about honesty, trust, and commitment in the relationships we form with our clients. They know that when we say we will do something, we will be proactive and follow through. We pride ourselves on accountability, strive to provide customer service unparalleled in this industry, and will always feel a sense of responsibility to our clients and their needs. Our commitment to quality is unmatched, and we have a track record to prove it. Prioritizing integrity is how we've built our reputation, and we will continue to do so every day.
Nimbleness - We Are Entrepreneurial & Agile
Our entrepreneurial spirit drives us every single day. We have the flexibility and agility of a small, entrepreneurial firm, but we have access to a large network of the industry-leading resources, within and outside of the real estate spectrum. It is our ability to be adapt and find creative solutions that allows us to complete projects on-time and on-budget, and it is our entrepreneurial spirit that allows us to continually find new and exciting real estate applications.
Vision - We Make the Intangible Tangible
Our vision continues to help us create and add value to the built environment. Our team is continuously place-making – public spaces, mixed use buildings, how to develop environments that enrich and engage. Bringing all of this to reality is the hard part, but it's our vision that gets us out of bed every morning. The built environment lives beyond us and it is the fabric of our communities. Our vision for the future is exciting, but it is an ongoing process that powers everything we do. Our real estate and developments are works of art, built on science and relationships. This vision and attitude result in a spirit that people appreciate for years to come.
Empowerment - We Give Our People Autonomy
Our people are our greatest asset, and we want them to feel empowered not only in every aspect of their work, but in every aspect of their life. We maintain the skills and resources to do our jobs, and our mutual trust provides authority to convert upon fresh ideas. We want our people to grow, and through KeeleyU and our own proprietary property management program, we provide ongoing training and leadership opportunities to help them feel empowered and excited to take their careers to the next level.
Stewardship - Doing Well While Doing Good
Doing well for our investors must be accompanied by doing good for the community or we move on to the next engagement. Giving back to the community is at the heart of our culture. Our goal is to leave a positive impact on the communities in which we live, work, and serve. We are fortunate to be a part of #KeeleyCares and have the opportunities to participate in events, fundraisers, and drives that benefit incredible organizations in communities across St. Louis and beyond. Outside of #KeeleyCares, we donate $100 from every new lease to a local organization of the tenant’s choice and support neighborhood partners through sponsorships, events, and donated space. Our team members also serve on various boards and play active roles in local community organizations. Every team member has made a philanthropic commitment, and we are grateful for these amazing opportunities to do good.
Teamwork - We Love What We Do Together
Our team works incredibly hard, but frankly, we love to have fun. We are a family and we will always support each other and lift each other up. We enjoy the work that we do and take pride in the difference that we are making. Our collaborative work environment fosters positivity and creativity that strengthens our underlying work ethic.
Our team goes beyond our office. Every organization that we work with, whether it is a financial, industry, or community partner, must align with all of these values and our culture. People are the driving force of our firm and this commitment only makes our relationships stronger.
Definitively, our collective team embodies all five of our values in INVEST – enabling KDG to live our mission statement every day.