When Maren Reepmeyer was growing up, the artistically inclined clothing enthusiast wanted to be fashion designer. Then in fifth grade, her art teacher gave her a new kind of drawing assignment: “She asked us to draw a building in perspective, which seems crazy for kids who were, what, 10 or 11?”
Reepmeyer recalled with a laugh. “[At first] I thought, ‘What? I don’t even know what this is.’ But I started getting into the assignment and I just loved it. … It really sparked something inside me.”
That assignment would end up winning a prize, and buildings, not clothing, would become Reepmeyer’s future, eventually leading her to her current position as senior associate, architect and project manager at CBT Architects.
The earlier years of Reepmeyer’s career were punctuated by projects including the Denver School of Science and Technology, which was partially funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Amwaj Bouregreg project, a 280-building city center in Rabat, Morocco.
Reepmeyer came to CBT Architects about five years ago, where her focus has shifted from those large, ground-up projects to asset strategy and repositioning. Her work now involves “full-scale repurposing” of buildings as well as helping developers who are looking to acquire a new asset “envision what that building could be,” she said. Reepmeyer has found this change to be incredibly rewarding, particularly in historical Boston. Her favorite current project is transforming Charlestown’s Schrafft Center, a 100-year-old former candy factory, into a waterfront business campus.
“Each project is completely unique and different,” she said. “We’re often digging up history of the buildings that [the owners] are not even aware of. It’s a ton of fun.”
Since joining CBT, Reepmeyer has pioneered a resource library for the company and become co-leader of its management council. Working closely with Haril Pandya, principal and director of asset strategy and repositioning at CBT, Reepmeyer has helped lead the asset strategy and repositioning team as its grown from six to 33 members.
“With all of the things we do, there’s a point where, even with the best and most experienced people working day in and day out, there’s just too much and it’s overwhelming. And to have someone like Maren that sits across from me and goes, ‘I got it,’ is invaluable,” Pandya said.
CBT isn’t the only place that’s learned to count on Reepmeyer. She is an active member and former leadership chair of the Boston Chapter of Women in Design, where she has spearheaded activities for a number of committees and helped support Women’s Lunch Place, a shelter supporting homeless women in the Boston area. She was also the recipient of the 2014 ENR New England’s Top Young Professional Award.
“To be a leader a leader in her field and a mover and shaker and … still find balance with family and being a first-time mom – that is commendable on every level,” Pandya said. “She really just shines and outshines in everything she does.”