Beaver Lake is a big reason Kaitlyn Fondano is in Northwest Arkansas. She was born and raised in the Phoenix area but spent summer vacations near the lake where her grandparents had a house.
Fondano graduated in 2011 from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in construction management and, in 2016, with a master’s degree in real estate management. In 2019, she and her husband decided Northwest Arkansas was the place to grow a family and careers.
Not long after joining Fayetteville developer Specialized Real Estate Group in 2019 and being promoted to director of development, the global COVID-19 pandemic threw the supply chain into knots.
“It is no doubt a challenge,” she said. “It has completely changed the conversation with how we approach construction. It’s like a game of whack-a-mole. As soon as we get one thing under control, the next thing will pop up.”
The company has shifted to begin ordering supplies earlier in the process where possible, she said.
Her focus is to help drive the push for healthy homes. Such homes are contaminant free with high-quality indoor air and other “clean” amenities. The company also pushes for infill development and having a “building perspective in which homes can be connected to the community.” The Brick Avenue Lofts and South Yard Lofts, opening in south Fayetteville later this year, exemplify the company’s multifamily work.
“Our intent is to be specialized, and Specialized has room for growth that I can be a part of and drive our initiative of healthy homes that we can be very proud of,” she said.
Other key parts of Fondano’s work is to help manage the process so each project meets with success within their “healthy” goals, and to evaluate deals for future projects.