RFB Development is a small real estate development company based out of Kitchener, Ontario and was envisioned and founded by Ron Brohman in 2015. Ron Brohman studied art and architectural history at Queen’s University, developing an understanding of the cultural significance of heritage architecture and the value it can add to the urban landscape through proper redevelopment. Along with his education, Ron has worked as a general contractor in the construction industry and with this he brings a new approach to the development process.
With the core belief that the investment in existing architecture can activate under-utilized spaces within a community, RFB Development approaches projects with an understanding that these vacant buildings can be re-envisioned through adaptive reuse in order to incite movements of revitalization within neighborhoods. The company strives to achieve a new development process that utilizes a hands-on approach and is very much neighborhood driven – engaging local residents in order to catalyze change and bring excitement to the development process.
Good design has the ability to positively impact communities, neighbourhoods, and cities. RFB Development approaches the development of historically significant spaces with the intention of preserving the architectural heritage embedded in these buildings while providing spaces which remain relevant to the current residential demands of the community. This is achieved through a design process which respects the cultural significance of heritage resources and thoughtfully incorporates a community voice in the redevelopment process.
"I have roots which are deeply planted in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, inspiring my interest in property development and conservation of the city’s heritage resources. My family has been active in the hospitality business and involved in community development in this area for over 200 years.
My grandfather, Charles J. Brohman, a well-known contractor and property developer in Kitchener, has been involved in commercial development in Kitchener-Waterloo for over 40 years. He is also a keen arts enthusiast and co-owner of the Courtyard at Bonnie Stuarts at 141 Whitney Place in Kitchener – an organization which promotes space for myriad artists, performing arts organizations, culinary operations, and other design oriented businesses. The Brohman and Schmaltz family’s owned and operated inns, hotels and stagecoach stations in Waterloo County, going back to the early 1800’s. The Breslau Hotel, Leisure Lodge in Cambridge, the Blue Moon Hotel in Petersburg were a few of the more well-known establishments.
My other grandfather, Ron Firmi opened Pepi’s Pizza in 1962, which continues to be a family-owned and operated business today. Ron Firmi was also involved in many building development projects and entrepreneurial ventures in the City of Kitchener throughout his career.
My great-great grandfather, Charles (Pop) Koehler, a carpenter by trade, worked on the old Kitchener City Hall which was built in the 1920s, and also owned and operated a Tobacco Shop and Pool Hall on King Street in downtown Kitchener in the 1920s and 1930s. Also engaged in the community, he coached Junior Hockey in Kitchener in the mid 1930s, training Milt Schmidt, Woody Dumart, and Bobby Bauer who went on to play with the Boston Bruins and became known, because of their German heritage, as “the Kraut Line”.
I try to incorporate the values and ideas, as well as the technical skills, fostered by my own family’s background into the approach of RFB Development – creating a company which is focused on cultural-driven redevelopment in under-utilized community spaces. My company enlists the help and expertise of local architects, investors, artists, and residents in order to integrate a variety of perspectives into a community-driven process of development."
– Ron Brohman