Ross Freeman (PMD 30, 1975) launched Pioneer Group in 1997 to turn historic buildings into affordable housing and office space in the American Midwest.
“I had never really thought about being a real estate developer, but it just came along at an opportune time and seemed to provide the opportunity to build on what I had experienced earlier,” says Freeman, who previously worked in the US space program, was general counsel for a life insurance company, and bought and managed an office fixtures manufacturer.
Pioneer Group, based in Topeka, Kansas, has created affordable housing and office space by rehabilitating historic structures in towns and cities in the Midwest. Its work has received numerous state, local, and national awards, including two from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Today, the company focuses on developing affordable housing for low-income families, seniors, and homeless veterans.
“Our firm’s family properties are mainly three-bedroom townhomes. For many of our residents,” Freeman says, “these are the first modern, safe, and secure homes they have ever had. For homeless veterans, our housing provides a place to call their own and bestows a strong sense of belonging.”
(Published December 2017)
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