Debra Blair had booked a conference room at the Mandarin Oriental in the Back Bay. She had set the date. She even had some speakers lined up and the topic set: The impact of the 2024 Olympics on the Boston residential real-estate market.
Then in late July, Boston’s plans for the Olympics evaporated. The Boston 2024 bidding group and the United States Olympic Committee jointly decided to scrap the city’s controversial proposal.
Blair, the president of LINK, a real-estate tracking firm, did what any competitive athlete would do in the face of a loss. She kept going, but tweaked her game.
Blair is still hosting the event for downtown real-estate brokers on September 22. But the focus will be on planning issues highlighted by the Olympic bid effort.
The city still needs a conversation about infrastructure and neighborhood development planning, even though the short-lived Olympic dream has faded, she said.
The event is shaping up to be a reunion of sorts for some of the team members of Boston 2024. Boston architect David Manfredi, the public face of the Olympic planning effort, as well as James Tierney, of Jones Lang LaSalle, who helped develop the financial plan for the bid, will be on the panel.
“Maybe we’re winning,” Blair said, despite withdrawing from the competition. “Maybe we don’t know we’re winning.”