Meet CPE’s 2017 Stars to Watch: Sarah Hawkins, Hines

Find out why this young professional's accomplishments in the tough Manhattan development market earned her a place among commercial real estate's rising leaders.
Sarah Hawkins, Hines
Sarah Hawkins, Hines

Each year, CPE features some of the commercial real estate industry’s top young talent. Here is a brief description of one of this year’s CPE Stars to Watch. Read more here about the 2017 Stars in our March digital issue.

Age: 32

On the Job: Managing Director, Hines

Why She’s a Star: Instrumental to Hines’ debut in the senior housing market, a planned 15-story Midtown Manhattan site tower. Played a central role in the firm’s selection as operating partner for the 4.9 million-square-foot office portfolio owned by a joint venture of Trinity Church Wall Street and Norges Bank Real Estate Management.

Major Challenge:  “I have had to learn how to balance the demands of what can be a 24/7 job with my 24/7 family,” explained Hawkins, who is the mother of two toddlers. “I certainly don’t have it perfectly figured out, but I know that I could not manage the demands of work and family without the support system I have both at home and at work.”

Key Mentor: Hines Senior Managing Director Tommy Craig, who has led the firm’s New York City Tri-State regional office since 1996.

Best Advice Received: Among the many lessons instilled by Craig, Hawkins cites the principle of acting and treating others with integrity. He’s also taught her to meet messy issues head-on in an open and honest manner, an approach Hawkins refers to as “Go ugly early.”

Secrets to Her Success: “I would not be where I am without a few key people in my career who were willing to take a risk–hiring me even though I didn’t have any development experience and giving me responsibilities that forced me to stretch the boundaries of what I thought I could do.”

What Others Say About Her: Hawkins has made tangible contributions to a variety of projects, all of which have had successful outcomes, said Craig. “What we do is creative and financial, but also tangible–she enjoys all of that,” Craig said. “She’s highly analytical, and well-liked by all of our clients, yet there’s a determination about Sarah that is a key to her success because what we do is not so easy. She’s not the kind of person who seeks praise but is praiseworthy.”

Behind the Scenes: Hawkins was a catalyst in the development of Hines’ comprehensive parental leave policy, which is geared toward supporting both primary and secondary care provider.  Hines’ program now stands out in the industry for extending leave options for new mothers, providing time for adoptive parents and other issues.

Memorable Moment: A beaming Hawkins (then six months pregnant) clambering up a ladder at 7 Bryant Park with 90-year-old company founder Gerald Hines in tow.