Tax Credit Advisor — June 2011 — Larry Curtis, the mustachioed president and managing partner of WinnDevelopment, likens the role of a developer to a musical conductor. “What I like about being a developer is you get to invent deals. You’re the orchestra leader that doesn’t necessarily know how to play all the instruments. But you can coordinate a team that starts with an idea and ends up with a development. For instance, you can take an historic development, some vacant blighted mill building with busted windows that hasn’t been occupied in 40 years, and turn it into a community where people live. And it has a positive impact on their lives.” Curtis oversees the development of a wide variety of housing projects: affordable rentals, using the federal low-income housing tax credit and other resources; market-rate rentals; mixed-income; and the occasional hotel or medical building. Many projects utilize historic tax credits. WinnDevelopment is a unit of WinnCompanies (, a Boston-based firm started in 1971 by Arthur Winn, now retired. Winn has more than 3,000 employees. Its other arms are WinnResidential and WinnCommercial. “Lean and mean” with just 16 people, WinnDevelopment develops and manages properties in more than 20 states and the District of Columbia. WinnCompanies manages 90,000 housing units (of which is has developed 20,000) in some 530-plus properties, including more than 100 LIHTC projects. “Our specialty is multifamily housing,” says Curtis, a long-time member and immediate past president of the National Housing & Rehabilitation Association and the 2008 recipient of its Affordable Housing Vision Award. “We do basically four types of deals: acquisition/rehab; historic; failed condos that we’re converting to rental housing; and military housing.”