LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR COMPANY, PHILOSOPHY, AND PROCESS.
We are a small, but growing company of talented individuals that work and live in the city of Raleigh. If you would like to join our team contact us here.Learn More
Jason Queen founded Monarch Property Co. and Raleigh Restoration Group, LLC to close the gap between real estate development and city inhabitants seeking sustainable, walkable communities. The company is comprised of passionate citizens, architects, preservationists, contractors, business owners, and other like-minded individuals who advocate for urban environments that seamlessly integrate the experiences and needs of pedestrians and cyclists.
Jason holds a Bachelor’s in entrepreneurship, a Master’s in urban planning, and an MBA in real estate development. He has years of experience in commercial real estate research and analysis, beginning with his post-undergraduate work at the Downtown Raleigh Alliance. He later served as Director of Marketing and Research and broker for Kimball & Company Commercial Realtors. And prior to starting his own company, Jason was Director of Urban Issues at the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Preservation North Carolina.
Jason is an active participant in downtown Raleigh communities. At present, he serves as a city council-appointed member to Raleigh’s new downtown master plan advisory committee, a contributing member to Preservation North Carolina, a member of the Urban Land Institute-Young Leaders, and an Emerging Green Builder designated by the US Green Building Council. He is a business owner with offices in downtown Raleigh as well as a homeowner in Olde East Raleigh.
Freelance creative director Gino Reyes is a recent New York City transplant to the Raleigh creative scene. Formerly tenured at top New York agencies Landor, Anomaly, Code and Theory, and Imagination, Gino spearheaded campaigns for notable clients such as the NFL, Canon, Sperry Top-Sider, Converse, Engadget, Snapple, and Pepsi Co. Gino currently holds a co-ownership position with leather accessories brand Haerfest, as well as partnerships with Raleigh creative Joshua Gajownik and Jason Queen of Monarch Property Co. With his years of creative experience and keen design sense, Gino is a contributor to the flourishing local business scene of Downtown Raleigh.
Philosophy and Practice of Placemaking
Part process and part philosophy, Placemaking is a development strategy that applies planning, design, and management to the wants and needs of the local community. Our mission is to create better, more functional public spaces and facilitate a higher quality of living for our neighborhoods. Placemaking is the cornerstone of Monarch’s methodology in our urban restoration and revitalization process. The following are just a few of the key principles that guide this philosophy.Learn More
SPACE VS. PLACE
Space is a physical location that can be used or developed. Place, on the other hand, denotes a physical location that has a deeper meaning to the people who use or inhabit it. For example, a house is a structure built for a family, while a home is a place where a family lives and identifies as its own.
The people who inhabit and interact with a location are the people who understand its innerworkings the most. They are the resident experts and historians on all the good, the bad, and the ugly. Incorporating their perspectives and experiences is crucial for a place’s effectiveness and future success. Moreover, having a vision that is defined by the community encourages a shared understanding of what could be. They are the first stakeholders in the revitalization process.
A BALANCE OF FUNCTION AND FORM
Always define a place’s accessibility, economic opportunities, programming potential, and historical significance before planning its design. After all aspects of function are considered, create an infrastructure and design that are both attractive in appearance and practical in layout. A solid, well-planned design will also discourage retrofitting adornments that are oftentimes costly and unnecessary.
EVERYTHING IN ITS RIGHT PLACE
Individual places are made stronger by their relative distance and function to one another. A city block that contains a coffee shop, park, and mass transit station mutually benefit from each other. Choose target areas that take advantage of complementary, already existing services and businesses.
OBSERVE AND EXPERIMENT
Understand the personality of a place through the observation of its location and people. Then try out short-term, small ideas in the targeted area with the public to gauge how the community adjusts to change. With positive observation even seemingly insignificant ideas can grow into greater long-term innovations. When ideas don’t go well, learn what went wrong and make improvements.
STRENGTH IN NUMBERS
Never go it alone. Establish relationships with innovative collaborators and stakeholders who will support and contribute physically, financially, and politically. In particular, collaborate with leaders in the community who share your vision and can invest their resources. As a team, you can problem solve together and work towards a shared goal.
FOREVER A WORK IN PROGRESS
Places and people change. It’s an inevitability that makes the revitalization process never ending. A place requires constant management and improvement to ensure effectiveness. Therefore, creating a flexible and strong infrastructure is key. A place that is designed well, particularly with the public’s perspective in mind, will thrive. And with a place’s success comes the success of its people.
What Is Monarch's Vision For Downtown Raleigh?
Our goal for downtown Raleigh is to strengthen its core identity as the capital city of North Carolina. The downtown area already has a great framework. So it’s a matter of taking advantage of the existing environment and infuse it with positive experiences.
In downtown Raleigh, there is a density of people, businesses, and offices. People naturally come together on the street, in restaurants, bars, and parks. And in these interactions, ideas are shared and knowledge gets passed from one person to another. To be that close to all this innovative exchange is incredibly exciting to us.
What Makes Monarch Different From Other Developers?
One thing that sets us apart is our focus on the pedestrian point of view. It’s important to us that people walk by our work and have a positive experience. On a personal level, we want to walk by one of our places and be proud of how it fits into the larger scheme of the neighborhood and community.
Secondly, our interests are area-specific and not product-specific. We do not differentiate between types of real estate. Instead it’s about the bigger picture: how can we work with the existing urban environment, seek out potential opportunities, and fill those gaps. What once was an empty lot, a vacant warehouse, or a disinvested home can be transformed into something that can greatly enhance the neighborhood as well as add value to a community.