I'd like to be seen as a conscious developer with the intention of having a lasting impact on neighborhoods. Obviously, this will take time. But that's the goal. Currently, I'm working on acquiring a residential rental, 3-unit building in West Philadelphia. I am also involved with Urban Land Institute, a group for those involved in commercial development and visionaries changing the landscape of the city.
I want my work to impact a community rather than considering a project simply because of its profit potential. Of course, a high return is important in this line of work. But my goal is to consider profitability in addition to the social impact on the neighborhood, with social impact having more weight. For example, if there is a group of lots in an up-and-coming hot area like Point Breeze, I have three choices:
A) build 10 single family residential homes with high-end finishes for top dollar
B) build 3 homes that are targeted to buyers with higher than average income, 4 with average income, and 3 with below average income
C) build a mix of market-rate and affordable rental units, which would include spaces that can have multiple uses for the community.
I’d likely pick B or C before picking A, even though A has the quickest potential for a return because I want to develop projects that have social impact, that enrich a community in some way.