October 16, 2019

Power Women: Susan Miller Gruppi Is A Force Of Revitalization In Forgotten Neighborhoods

By Kerri Panchuk, Bisnow Dallas-Fort Worth, October 16, 2019

This limited series profiles DFW Power Women who have made their mark in the Dallas-Fort Worth commercial real estate industry. Each of the women profiled will be honored at Bisnow’s Dallas-Fort Worth Power Women event Nov. 12. 

Fort Worth is enjoying a type of development renaissance with its Downtown area and the entirety of North Tarrant County on the radar of most corporate and industrial acquisition teams and developers. 

But Susan Miller Gruppi, co-founder of M2G Ventures with her twin sister Jessica Miller Essl, has her eye beyond the normal hot spots, looking for ways to turn the forgotten into the new and creative. 

M2G Ventures is behind the creation of Fort Worth’s The Foundry District, a former industrial community now brimming with a chic coffee house, a distillery, public art, boutique offices and specialty retailers near Downtown.

Gruppi and her team also are in the midst of redeveloping a former Dallas Can Academy into a creative office known as the Bogart on Ross in East Dallas.

The development group also has a part in reviving one of Fort Worth’s most coveted landmarks with the Stockyards Heritage Development Co. selecting M2G Ventures to be its retail and restaurant leasing partner for the Fort Worth Stockyards and Mule Alley.

Whereas Gruppi may seem unusual with so few female developers in DFW, never mind in Fort Worth, her destination and current place in the world make perfect sense to her. 

Bisnow: What did you dream of becoming as a child? How does your current career feed that inner child inside of you?

Gruppi: I dreamt of many things as a child, but an entrepreneur was probably paramount. I remember other kids asking me, “What do your parents do?'”And I would reply, “entrepreneur.” They would then ask, “What’s that?”

Bisnow: If you could teach women growing in the industry today just one thing, what would it be?

Gruppi: Work hard. Ask for what you deserve. Never stop asking. If they don’t give it to you, do it yourself.

Bisnow: Who inspires you on a daily basis and why? 

Gruppi: My 2-year old daughter. She is so happy and full of life. She reminds me every day of all I am thankful for.

Bisnow: What is your biggest career failure and what positive lessons did it teach you? 

Gruppi: This is scary to say, but I do not think I’ve had it yet. Failure is inevitable, especially when you continue to put yourself out there. All I can do is learn from it and keep going.

Bisnow: Describe your greatest career accomplishment.

Gruppi: My greatest career accomplishment would probably be the entire year of 2019. We have experienced tremendous growth, experienced uncountable firsts and contributed to our mental health initiative in a meaningful way.