Strategic Minds in Development

INITIAL’s senior team is made up of deep thinkers who have strategized, designed, and developed innovative real estate projects on the international stage for many years. We work globally for visionary developers, helping them realize inspired projects that serve the owner, the users, and the surrounding community.

Our ranks include:





Legal Experts

Financial Analysts

Lodging Specialists

Marketing Pros

JF Garneau Principal Initial

JF Garneau,

JF, is Chief Development Officer and founder of INITIAL Real Estate, an innovative strategic planning and project development company that bridges the worlds of creativity, research and business. JF brings 30 years of diversified experience in real estate development and planning, mainly for residential, commercial, and hospitality projects.

Working with land owners, private and public institutions as well as with visionary developers around the globe, he has created development strategies and provided creative direction for projects in Europe, India, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand, the US and Canada.

He has been involved in the creation of many compelling and memorable large-scale urban mixed-use projects, sports facilities as well as high-end resort-oriented hospitality and residential real estate projects on three continents. His background in architecture, urban design, and his experience in real estate development and operations management, have allowed him to develop a unique expertise in finding creative solutions to complex real estate problems, strategies and the creation of compelling and memorable places.

A proven leader, strategic thinker and team builder, JF’s international experience has allowed him to build a global network of partners and professionals.

Passionate about urban mixed-use, resort planning and hospitality industries, he is also a keen study on the creation of cities, towns, villages and the future of “people places” everywhere.

JF holds a degree in Applied Sciences and a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from Laval University, Canada, and has studied Architecture and Urban Design at Université de Paris VIII.


Lorne Bassel,

Lorne is President and CEO of Crave Real Estate, a real estate development, asset management and investment company, and has close to three decades of real estate development experience in both urban and resort locations throughout the world.

As a Principal and co-founder of INITIAL, Lorne’s extensive real estate development experience, his knowledge and passion for creating people places and village centered master planned communities, as well as his extensive global network, guides the INITIAL team.

Prior to founding Crave and INITIAL, Lorne was the Executive Vice President of Intrawest Corporation, where he led (then bankrupt) Mont-Tremblant Ski resort to becoming North America’s top rated resort in the Northeast. He is also one of the founders of the Intrawest Placemaking Division where during his tenure, he was responsible for the creation of more than 20 Intrawest resorts throughout North America and Europe. He led Intrawest’s Village People Commercial teams, Hotel branding division, Human Resources and Innovation and Growth.

Lorne is a frequent speaker on topics ranging from village centered resort developments to retail planning.


Kathryn A. Burns,
Hospitality Advisor

Kathryn A. Burns is a Hospitality Advisor with INITIAL. Kathryn has over 25 years of experience as an executive in the hotel industry, primarily focused on strategic advisory work as well as on acquisitions and development.

Her passion has become her specialty. Namely, Kathryn excels in the development, rebranding and repositioning of hospitality properties. Drawing on her experience, knowledge and access to leaders at multiple hotel companies, she deftly brings multiple perspectives to every project she takes on.

In addition to working with Initial Real Estate and The Crave Group, Kathryn co-founded Sea Pine Partners, targeting investment opportunities and strategic advisory relationships. Most recently, Kathryn has been engaged as Strategic Advisor to Montage International, working with the luxury hotel company’s senior management to grow their ultra-luxury Montage and launch their new luxury boutique Pendry brands. She was previously engaged by a leading real estate opportunity fund to assist in evaluating their Cuba hotel investment strategy, as well as by hotel developers including Carpenter & Company and New England Development (NED.) As SVP, Hotel Investments at NED, she was instrumental in executing investment and operational strategies for their Nantucket-based hospitality portfolio and managed all aspects of the White Elephant Hotel Residences project.

Kathy earned her MBA at Harvard Business School and graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University with a Bachelors of Arts degree. She is Vice Chair of the Urban Land Institutes’ Hotel Development Council (HDC). She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Governors Academy and is a founding board member of the Trinity Boston Foundation.

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