Prospera Logo

Prospera Real Estate Collective is a national real estate

development company dedicated to bringing meaningful

value to People, Place, and Partners.

Applying a unique combination – innovative vision,

an old-fashioned work ethic, and a pragmatic approach –

the company is distinguished for its ability to bring people

and profits together to create transformative outcomes.

Prospera Real Estate Collective is a national

real estate development company dedicated

to bringing meaningful value to People,

Place, and Partners. Applying a unique

combination – innovative vision an

old-fashioned work ethic, and a pragmatic

approach – the company is distinguished for

its ability to bring people and profits

together to create transformative outcomes.

Ellen C. Buckley

Founder & CEO

Ellen C. Buckley is the Founder and CEO of Prospera Real Estate Collective, LLC (“Prospera”), a national real estate development firm. In this highly competitive industry, this experienced developer stands out as a tenacious trailblazer backed by an accomplished academic performance. Ellen leads Prospera with a clear focus and unwavering commitment to excellence. She is distinguished as a pragmatic innovator employing timeless, human-centric solutions to consistently deliver the highest value to all stakeholders.

Real Estate DNA
Ellen began working in real estate when she was 14 years old, transferring deeds at the local courthouse while working at her grandfather’s Ohio law firm. During her teenage years, she began to read books, take courses on architecture and real estate development, and travel to see iconic buildings nationally and internationally, exploring her innate curiosity about how real estate impacts people and societies.
Knowing that shaping built environments was her life’s passion and purpose, she was eager to learn all aspects of the real estate field from the bottom up. At age 17, she decided to pick up a hammer and work as a laborer on the crew for an all-male construction company in her hometown where she helped build an array of major commercial and residential projects.  
Always a top performer committed to academic excellence, she received graduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and a Certificate of Real Estate Development and Finance from The Wharton School, a Master of Science in Historic Preservation and a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Miami, where she graduated first in her class. 

On construction site

Decades of Impact

In the two decades that followed, Ellen successfully led the execution of major projects totaling approximately $16 billion in real estate value. Her work has spanned multiple asset classes, including multifamily, office, retail, mixed use, industrial, education, adaptive reuse, and master-planned communities throughout the Midwest, Northeast, Southeastern US and Asia.

Ellen’s most recent position before establishing Prospera in 2023 was leading development for Terra as Vice President, Director of Development, managing the development team to execute approximately $6 billion of real estate projects with focus on acquisition through start of construction. Examples of these projects include:

  • Grove Central (urban core transit-oriented development with 402 apartments and 100k retail sf; public private partnership),
  • Grand Hyatt Miami Beach Convention Center Hotel​ (800 key hotel; public private partnership),
  • Five Park (48-story 285-unit luxury condo residences, 3-acre park, signature pedestrian bridge; public private partnership),
  • Centro City Residences and Retail (300k sf retail center and 1200 market rate residential units)
  • Natura Gardens (approx. 400 garden style apartment master planned community)
  • Upland Park (47-acre transit-oriented development with 1700+ units, 560k sf retail/commercial, 120 hotel keys; public private partnership)

Passionate about building vibrant communities

Tenacity, Integrity and Execution

Ellen has built a reputation – one project at a time – for her unwavering commitment to excellence based on her tenacity, integrity and execution. Every step of the way, Ellen has been driven by a powerful quote by Thomas Edison: “The value of an idea lies in the using of it.” Many developers can think big – but what has always distinguished Ellen is her ability to turn the visions into reality. She does this by strategically breaking down her big-picture ideas into executable parts, which enables short-term execution and long-term strategic planning. Ellen naturally thrives on challenges, thinks creatively, anchors analysis with data, and employs collaboration. These rare skills and talents uniquely position her to successfully execute on every project she undertakes.

Consistent with her history of taking on challenges, Ellen is a divorced single parent of two children, a responsibility that would prevent many in her position from leaving the safety of a major corporation to pursue entrepreneurism. So why did Ellen decide to establish Prospera in the risky, male-dominated real estate industry?

Bringing Value to People, Place and Partners

Among other things, Ellen recognized the real estate industry is rife with complaints of developers breaking promises and prioritizing profits over people. Ellen believes she has a unique opportunity – and civic duty – to establish a new metric for evaluating the impact of real estate development by bringing profits and people together to create transformative outcomes. Specifically, this standard calls for high quality and positive impact delivered in multiple ways: financial, environmental, social, health, and wellbeing. It enhances, elevates, and sets people on the path to prosperity.

To illustrate:

Value to People:

Prospera’s adherence to human-centered principles of Firmitas, Utilitas and Venustas (Durability, Utility, and Beauty) enables the firm to deliver vibrant places to live, work and play infused with a meaningful sense of belonging and wellness. The team delivers distinct sanctuaries, refuges that exceed value based on price and comparable options. Places that provide excitement, comfort, memorable moments, joy, and promote connection.

Value to Place:

Beyond boosting property values and catalyzing further investment in neighborhoods, Prospera revitalizes communities by infusing vibrancy where it was lacking. Its focus: meeting current needs while planning for the future to create dynamic communities connected to multimodal transit, technology, and goods/services. In this way, the team thoughtfully creates thriving environments centered on walkability, wellness and vitality.

Value to Partners:

Fundamental to every project Prospera undertakes is ensuring a competitive return on investment. The firm applies imagination, pragmatism and tenacity to unlock the white space and consistently deliver additional value. As part of its relentless pursuit of excellence and execution, the firm brings quantitative and qualitative returns that enable partners to take pride in their investments. Beyond financial returns, Prospera works with its partners to create transformative legacies.

Envisioning the future of a project

Spectrum of Asset Classes

Specifically, Prospera focuses on assets in the following categories:

  • Master planned communities
  • Mixed use
  • Multifamily/Workforce
  • Condo
  • Hospitality
  • Adaptive reuse/restoration
  • Senior Living
  • Cultural/entertainment
  • Office
  • Industrial
  • Retail
  • Education/Academic
  • Value-Add Properties

At Prospera, Ellen and her team target emerging markets and undervalued sites to unlock untapped value. They take pride in their projects, viewing them as part of a legacy that must sustain its value and significance beyond completion.

The Missing Middle

The Missing Middle

As part of this commitment to legacy creation and turning long-standing challenges into new opportunities, Ellen is introducing a first-of-a-kind approach to tackle a problem plaguing the United States: the national housing crisis. The unmet needs of the market segment known as “The Missing Middle” have continued to spiral out of control for a variety of reasons, including lack of affordable products, skyrocketing prices, inadequate public policy, and shrinking number of developers to deliver supply. Many much-needed projects, ranging from duplexes to mid-rise apartments, have not broken ground – either because they’re too small for big developers who would rather optimize their resources on larger projects, or because they’re too challenging for smaller, emerging developers who lack the necessary financing and other resources to take them on.

Recognizing this, Prospera, through Missing Middle Community Partners, is taking the lead in tackling this national problem using a new framework that involves partnering with local, emerging developers and providing the necessary financial backing and support to deliver attainable housing at all levels of the Missing Middle, ranging from affordable housing to workforce housing.

Sapien Urbanism

Sapien Urbanism

In addition to the Missing Middle, Ellen also is working to address other long-standing national real estate issues. Historically, the focus of real estate development has been transactional – merely generating wealth – rather than addressing what makes people human and enables them to create meaningful connections within their communities.

Applying her unique combination of vision and pragmatism, Ellen is introducing a new industry standard which she developed: Sapien Urbanism. It is distinguished as the first and only approach that solves the problem that theorists throughout history have tried but failed to address. Specifically, that is the problem of loneliness within communities – and the inescapable universal truth that human beings need meaningful connection.

If we define “urbanism” as the development and planning of cities and towns, and “sapien” as wise or intelligent, then as the name implies, “Sapien Urbanism” refers to smart, human-centered development. Sapien Urbanism transcends all traditional barriers and may be implemented in remote or densely populated regions almost anywhere in the world.

What Distinguishes and Differentiates us

We apply our extensive knowledge and experience and

take a pragmatic approach to developing innovative

solutions that ensure the highest value for all

community stakeholders.

We embrace the latest findings in neuroscience to

develop human-centric projects that meet people’s

needs for meaningful connections that enhance

their quality of life.

We apply time-tested values, an old-fashioned (and

almost extinct) work ethic, and a tenacious grit to

ensure that we deliver on our promises.

Let’s create a new future together.