Noyan Uras was traditionally trained as a civil engineer in college, but he brings the passion of an artist and the commitment of an activist to his new venture in the Los Angeles construction industry.
A common perception of the construction/building industry is that it can be very traditional and old-fashioned, male-dominated, and sometimes rough around the edges. But Uras and his team (the other founding members are both female) are using a modern, holistic approach that is more reminiscent of an artist’s or designer’s atelier crossed with an innovation lab or think tank.
Uras partnered with Cypress Equity Investments, a Los Angeles-based investment firm that specializes in green, innovative commercial buildings, to launch the INTEGRARE Group in 2019. He wanted to combine his over two decades of experience with the goal of bringing a new way of thinking to the industry. Uras assembled a core team with more than five decades of hands-on construction and development experience working on California-based commercial and mixed-use residential projects worth more than a half-billion dollars. One of the team’s original founding principles was to be a relationship-driven organization with strong community support.
To that end, INTEGRARE partners with FlyawayHomes, a non-profit organization for which Uras serves as chief development officer. Flyaway Homes was founded to help end homelessness in Los Angeles County by developing and building permanent supportive housing projects. The model that Flyaway has created develops permanent supportive housing in one-third the time and for one-third the cost of traditional affordable developers.
FlyawayHomes last year won the LA County Innovation Award and the Proposition HHH Innovation Award, which provides funding of more than $20 million. This funding is expected to allow the organization to deliver 400 beds in the next 24 months. The long-term goal is to build 20,000 beds by 2028, before the Olympics come to Los Angeles. Uras was recently selected to share his expertise on affordable and permanent housing on a panel created by Bisnow, a national real estate organization that recognized his detailed knowledge of solving the Los Angeles homelessness situation.
After completing his undergraduate degree in civil engineering at Istanbul Technical University in his native Turkey, Uras started his career as a structural engineer at a well-known London-based multinational engineering firm. He next worked for two different California-based construction firms for nearly twenty years, expanding his knowledge of the entire construction process for large projects and building relationships with the key players, including clients, vendors, architects, engineers, and subcontractors. Along the way, he earned a master’s degree in construction management from USC.
After decades of working for other firms, Uras formed the INTEGRARE Group to apply his core beliefs and practices to his own business. These include multidisciplinary and adaptive thinking — bringing together a creative team of diverse disciplines to analyze the challenges of building in complex urban environments, working with both deep passion and efficiency, and evolving the firm continuously, rather than being resistant to change. And central to all of these beliefs, is doing good in the community, through its efforts to house the most vulnerable residents of Los Angeles County.