Development Leads

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Each project, whether residential, retail, office, industrial or institutional, or mixed use, is managed from beginning to end by a knowledgeable lead.

Meet the Build Toronto Development Leads.

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Salima Rawji
Salima Rawji
Vice President, Development
Salima Rawji is a well-recognized real estate executive.  She leads projects across geography and asset class inside the Build Toronto portfolio including mixed use, retail, residential, and seniors housing developments. In her leadership role within Build Toronto’s development and investment group, Salima pushes for strong projects that are financially viable, as well as socially and environmentally sustainable.

“My work at Build Toronto touches a multiplicity of disciplines, stakeholders and communities. My approach is based on collaboration, which allows me to bring insight and best practice from across a wide spectrum to truly create value for all involved. The ability to use market dynamics to support businesses & entrepreneurs, all while creating livable spaces and providing a financial return to the City is what makes working at Build Toronto so unique.” – Salima Rawji

Salima currently sits on the Toronto Urban Land Institute’s Management Committee as Co-Chair of Outreach and serves as Co-Chair of the International Council of Shopping Centres’ Ontario P3 Program. Before coming to Build Toronto, Salima specialized in retail shopping centre development with SmartCentres, managing over four million square feet of development.

Salima graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce as Valedictorian, from the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia. She also holds an MBA from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. Salima is active in her community. In 2014 she was recognized as a Champion by the Women’s Leadership Initiative at ULI Toronto. In 2016 she was the winner of the GTA MetroNext Emerging Leader Award. She currently sits on the Board of Directors for CivicAction and the Homes First Foundation.



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Michael S. Whelan
Michael S. Whelan
Vice President, Development
Michael leads development for large mixed use, office and industrial projects within Build Toronto’s portfolio. Michael manages a portfolio of 8,000,000 square feet of new developments. As development lead, Michael manages all aspects of development from start to finish, with a mindset of providing a significant return to the City.

“Based on my many years in real estate, I have come to appreciate that planning and minimizing risk within the complex development cycle is critical. Once you invest time to manage a project thoughtfully and with consideration for all factors, you are better able to develop successful projects that can continue to add value financially, economically and socially.” – Michael Whelan

As a senior real estate executive with more than 30 years of experience throughout North America, Michael has been involved in all aspects of real estate, including construction, development, operations, leasing, asset management and investments. Most recently, Michael was the Managing Director of Delan Group Inc., a real estate consulting organization serving top-tier real estate companies across Canada. Previously, he was a Senior Vice-President with The Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited, one of North America’s largest real estate organizations, and was responsible for all aspects of its Greater Toronto Area portfolio. Michael has also worked with the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, where he was responsible for the Canadian real estate portfolio, as well as CN Real Estate, where he played a leading role in the development of the Toronto Railways Lands. Michael is a member of the Professional Engineers of Ontario and holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Civil Engineering from Queen’s University.

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Gabriella Sicheri
Gabriella Sicheri is the Developmental Director at Build Toronto. Gabriella manages a portfolio of residential and mixed-use developments in her leadership role within Build Toronto’s development and investments group.
Director, Development
Gabriella manages a portfolio of residential and mixed-use developments in her leadership role within Build Toronto’s development and investments group. As a development lead, Gabriella reimagines the use of underutilized City assets in a way that will create meaningful space for end users and their communities, while generating important City-Building outcomes for the City.

“My passion for excellence in design, architecture and urban planning drives the way I approach reintegrating underutilized lands into the City’s urban fabric. Considering development from this perspective allows me to establish valuable partnerships that start from common ground. I strongly believe that the right collaboration with stakeholders drives successful projects that can be of benefit to all.” – Gabriella Sicheri

Gabriella has 14 years of experience in the public real estate sector as a senior manager. Before coming to Build Toronto, Gabriella worked for the Toronto District School Board, where she negotiated, executed and managed complex redevelopment projects, land transactions and a leased portfolio of three million square feet to leverage public assets and generate revenue in creative ways to support new building construction, renovation and City-Building initiatives. Gabriella holds an Degree from the University of Toronto and a Masters in Environmental Studies from York University.

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