Staff

Dave Foster

Dave Foster

Principal, Real Estate

Dave is the Director of Real Estate at Community Solutions. In this role, he oversees the development and management of the organization’s commercial, mixed-use and residential projects in Hartford; Brownsville, Brooklyn and Washington, DC. From 2008-2014, he served as the president of Cooper’s Ferry Partnership, a non-profit economic development corporation in Camden, NJ, where he oversaw more than $350M in new investment in the community. Prior to his work in Camden, Dave was an attorney in the real estate department at Ballard Spahr in Philadelphia and also worked for a large real estate development company in China. His military service includes duty as an infantry officer with the 101st Airborne Division, a posting in the Pentagon, and a combat tour in Afghanistan. Dave received his BA from Washington & Lee University and his JD from the University of Pennsylvania.

Sweta Patel

Sweta Patel

Deputy Director, Real Estate

As Deputy Director of Real Estate, Sweta brings her design background to guide our real estate and community development initiatives in Hartford, CT. She has more than 10 years of work experience in the fields of architecture, urban planning and economic development, which she uses to foster Community Solutions’ integrated approach of building healthy and sustainable communities. Prior to joining Community Solutions, Sweta worked as an architectural designer in Philadelphia, PA and with Common Ground to manage the development of supportive housing projects in New York City. Sweta received her Bachelor of Architecture degree from Pennsylvania State University and an MS in City Design and Social Science from the London School of Economics.

Emmily De Los Santos

Emmily De Los Santos

Project Manager, Real Estate

As a Project Manager on Community Solutions' Real Estate team, Emmily manages and oversees a $4.1 million development budget for Brooklyn, NY real estate projects. In this role, Emmily aims to create a seamless collaboration of local and best practice knowledge to advance community development goals and import options and outcomes for the Brownsville neighborhood. Previously, she worked as the Assistant Project Manager for the Inspiring Places where she worked closely with the project management team and provided support on real estate conversion and development projects. In her first position as a Family Coach for the Homelessness Intervention Program at the Brownsville Partnership, she worked intensively with families and individuals in Brownsville who were at risk of becoming homeless. She is passionate about social justice and has actively advocated for racial, social and economic equality. Emmily holds a BA in sociology and a minor in law and society from Skidmore College. She is currently working towards her Master's in Urban Planning with a focus on Economic and Housing Development at NYU's Wagner School of Public Service.

Patrick McKenna

Patrick McKenna

Project Manager, Real Estate

As a project manager, Patrick is responsible for the day to day management of the real estate development activities from concept to construction completion for the Hartford, CT projects as part of the Inspiring Places team. Prior to Community Solutions, Patrick worked as an architect for more than 10 years in his native Ireland and the US on a wide range of projects including residential, commercial, mixed use, cultural and education. Patrick is passionate about sustainable design, urban farming and the role that good design and building rehabilitation can have on the social, environmental and economic issues facing our most vulnerable communities. He is the Co-founder of Architecture for Humanity in New Haven, CT and the Co-chair of the building committee of the local Habitat for Humanity. Patrick received a BS in Architecture from Queens University in Ireland and a Diploma in Architecture from the Mackintosh School of Architecture in Glasgow, Scotland.

John Napolitano

John Napolitano

Senior Project Manager, Real Estate

John Napolitano serves as the Senior Project Manager for Community Solutions’ Real Estate team. John is an urban planning professional with 20 years of experience in community development and project management and a deep personal commitment to affordable housing for those who need it most, including low-income families, the elderly, and those at risk of homelessness. Prior to joining Community Solutions in 2017, John served as a Director for two large non-profits in NYC, overseeing the design, construction, and financing of over 800 units of affordable housing, including residences with commercial/mixed-use components and passive house design standards. Given Community Solutions’ mission of strengthening communities and ending homelessness, John and the rest of the Inspiring Places team have been tasked with developing new, equitable housing models in Brownsville, Brooklyn that are affordable to a range of incomes. John holds a Master’s Degree in Planning from Pratt Institute and is a graduate of New York University’s Leadership Enhancement Program, as well as a former member of housing policy organizations such as LiveOn New York and the Municipal Arts Society. In his free time, John is actively involved in the mentorship of several young men who have aged out of the foster care system, helping them in their transition to adulthood.

Layman Lee

Layman Lee

Neighborhood Development & Placemaking Manager

Layman Lee is the Placemaking Manager at Brownsville Partnership working to improve the built environment and neighborhood health through the lens of art and design with residents and creative experts. Previously she was the Creative Director at ORE Design working on projects such as transformations of vacant lots in Brooklyn into small business incubators and community space with shipping containers, an emergency jacket to aid the homeless and a modular lighting system using clear PVC. She gained hands on experience with large art installations at Fung Collaboratives where she helped construct the massive snow and ice sculptures designed by artist and artists teams including Tatsuo Miyajima and Tadao Ando, and Anish Kapoor and Future Systems. She has traveled to New Mexico to help realize the SITE Sante Fe Biennial: Lucky Number Seven, and most recently to Atlantic City as Project Director for ARTLANTIC, a project aimed at transforming the vacant lots through public art with the landscape design firm Balmori Associates and artists. In her free time, Layman is a multidisciplinary artist and designer working in the belief that every project should be equitable, innovative, and foster positive social and environmental change.

Talk to us!

Sweta Patel
[email protected]

Community Solutions
125 Maiden Lane, Suite 16C
New York, NY 10038
646.797.4370