5 Questions to Robbie Osenga, Business Development and Commercial Real Estate Broker | Local News
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Position: Business development and commercial real estate broker
1. What is your vision for the commercial development of Bloomington-Normal?
“Building A Brighter Blo/No” has been one of my visionary phrases over the past few years, and to be honest commercial development is one of them, but it goes a lot deeper for me personally than just real estate and development projects . Deep inside me as an individual is an innate affinity for seeing all things reach their potential. This for sure embodies buildings, real estate, and design aesthetics, but more so, my motivation is for members of our community to thrive and enjoy health in all of their key relationships. In the small projects and ways in which I have been granted influence, I work to create spaces and experiences for our community to reach its full potential. That’s why my work with Catalyst Construction has been such a gift, because their vision of influencing positive change with every project, person, and community we engage with aligns completely with my vision and my passions. Ultimately, I’m so grateful to be able to serve my hometown the way I do every day, and I hope a small slice of that vision slowly becomes a reality!
2. Are there any interesting projects you are currently working on?
There’s a handful of projects we’re working on that I’m really excited about. Clearly, the redevelopment of the CII East building, as well as the Grove + Prairie building, has been a focus for the past two years and will continue to be for some time to come. These are the types of projects that I find I am best suited to help with. In the development world, these projects are called “adaptive reuse”, which literally means “flipping something on its head”. I’m honored that a handful of organizations here in our community have asked me to help them redeem these properties, and ultimately help them create a space they couldn’t find elsewhere in our market. Each of these projects starts with a local business or organization inviting me to come and get to know them quite intimately and their dreams for their future, and then they allow me to go and start managing their dream and reimagining these existing spaces repurposed into in a way that ultimately serves them and the community very well. Perhaps the best part of these projects is that I can partner with brilliant local architects and artisans to create work and living spaces that attract and retain the next generation to grow up here in our community. It’s a real gift and I’m grateful for the opportunities!
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3. You gave a TED Talk in Normal in 2016. What was it about?
My TedX talk is based on a pivotal moment in my life, which really shook me to my core. It was from this experience that I gained tremendous self-awareness of who I really am, versus who I thought I was meant to be. I’m sharing some of what I’ve learned (and, for that matter, am still learning) in hopes that it may provide encouragement and guidance to others who are looking for direction or clarity in their personal lives. This is kind of a taste of a free online course I created called “Clarity in Calling”, which I hope has been a useful tool for people looking to take a more meaningful step forward in their lives!
4. What past experiences do you have?
When I think about this question, my mind goes first to the experiences I have had in places of retreat. I’ve been really lucky to have had many experiences in my life that have been intentionally set aside. These have typically taken place in camps and retreat centers, where people have created intentionally designed spaces and experiences for people like me to connect with others and connect with God. These moments and spaces of retreat have had such a profound impact on my life and my relationships. I am extremely grateful to the people and organizations that have created these experiences for me, and I hope in a meaningful way to help create spaces and experiences like this for others as well!
5. What do you like to do in your free time?
I was gifted with a beautiful family with my wife Candice and my three children Kelsey (12), Reese (10) and Graham (8). Much of my free time is spent travelling, adventuring and learning from and with them! We are actively involved in our faith community and enjoy investing in the lives of students and young professionals, and whenever possible we like to bring these friends alongside our family for meals, time on the water and in the water. daily and ordinary hustle and bustle of raising three kids.