Though you are no doubt familiar with Inspīr Carnegie Hill and its many offerings, you may not be as familiar with the gentleman behind the project.
CEO and President of Inspīr Greg Smith has spent his life creating optimal customer service experiences for his clients—learning what they want and working hard to deliver it.
Meet Greg Smith: The Man Behind Inspīr Carnegie Hill.
Greg’s lessons started as early as Bentley University, where he studied marketing and finance. He landed his first job in New York City’s finance industry right after graduating in 1991.
“Right out of college, I moved to Brooklyn,” Greg says. “I was in Brooklyn for about seven years when my brother—who had been in real estate—decided to buy his first office building and asked if I wanted to partner with him.”
The partnership launched Greg’s real estate career, with his investments ranging from office buildings to full-service hotels throughout the country. But it would be one specific property in 2004 that would ignite a new passion and steer his career in a new direction.
“My mother actually came across a property in Danbury, Connecticut, that she thought could have great potential and would be something I was interested in,” Greg says. “At the time, she had been looking for assisted living options for my aunt, and there wasn’t anything available to meet our expectations. I knew at that moment that I could create something that would satisfy the needs of my family and others who were facing similar challenges.”
And thus Maplewood was born.
Putting his acquired hospitality and financial skills to work, Greg would go on to develop premier senior living residences all over the state of Connecticut: from Orange to Norwalk to Darien. His mission was to create more intentional and purposeful living for seniors, prioritizing dignity, and fulfilling a need where others had not.
“We’re always striving to provide the best for our residents, to provide them with environments that are vibrant and engaged with life,” Greg says. “And most importantly, we treat every single individual in our community with dignity.”
And if Greg thought that owning a hotel was hard work, it was nothing compared to the world of senior living. He frequently sought ways to change and improve each location to best meet his residents’ needs, feeling it was his duty to go above and beyond in creating not just better, but superior living experiences for them.
“It’s not easy!” Greg says. “Learning how to manage a multidisciplinary business is definitely a challenge. It’s a matter of seamlessly incorporating residential, hospitality, and healthcare to make it feel experiential. It’s something of a balancing act, but it’s worth it to create the best experience for our residents.”
In 2012, Greg and his team saw a new need that wasn’t being met: a very specific demographic was seeking an even higher level of luxury senior living: this time, in an urban environment. Compelled to create a solution to fulfill this need, Greg and his team envisioned Inspīr.
“We wanted to create something that would feel different and unique—with more culture, more healthcare, more lifestyle,” Greg says. “We strive for the very best for our residents.”
And strive Greg does. Inspīr is a labor of love, combining Greg’s past experience and his passion to create the best in elevated living experiences for seniors. Inspīr will bring city life into senior living, providing an upscale oasis in the heart of a cultural mecca.
Greg has spent a great deal of time conducting interviews, focus groups, and research to find exactly what the project should include. His enthusiasm even extends beyond the office—when traveling, he gains inspiration from hospitality businesses around the world, from the design to the architecture to the customer service.
“I’ve seen the difference over the years in how people react to what we build,” he says. “When you pay attention to the little details, people really respond positively.”
And for him, success only happens when he goes beyond meeting his residents’ hopes, never merely matching them. He is thrilled with the reaction Inspīr has already elicited.
“For us, it’s always striving to exceed every one of those expectations,” he says, “not by inches, but by miles.”