a new new york An urban skyscraper designed by a white architect, built by a white contractor, and developed by a white real estate company? Business as usual. But what about a new New York City skyscraper designed by a black architect, built by a black contractor, and developed by a black real estate company?
That’s why the proposal for a 90-story affirmation tower was so bold and long overdue.
Standing on 1.2 acres along Manhattan’s western edge across from the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, the skyscraper was designed like a stack of blocks, narrow at the bottom and wide at the top, defying gravity with delicate cantilevers. . Envisioned as home to some of America’s top black-owned businesses, Affirmation Tower will be ambitious for real estate leaders of all races. Don Peebles, is a Florida and New York-based businessman who is considered by many to be the most accomplished African-American real estate developer in the country. “The time for this project is long overdue,” says Peebles. British-Ghanaian architect David Adjaye with its design Mackissac Group, a 100-year-old black- and women-owned construction management company that oversees construction. “New York is a city full of monumental towers, but he hasn’t had a single one designed by black architects and black development teams and black builders,” says Peebles. “This is my way of dealing with these injustices.”
A skyscraper that puts most skyscrapers to shame, the Affirmation Tower’s scale may seem overwhelming, but the challenges Peebles faces and the fact that the Affirmation Tower will eventually become the tallest building in New York City. His desire to become is shared by black developers. on every level. In fact, almost three years after the murder of George Floyd – all sorts of US corporations have been publicly witnessed. Commit to investing in racial equality initiatives Including real estate development – The $20 Trillion US Real Estate Industry African American participation remains largely absent.
Despite a handful of high-profile black-led projects, such as the $3.8 billion Chicago Lakeside development and the Philadelphia Navy Yard’s 109-acre redevelopment plan, Only 2% of U.S. Real Estate Companiesaccording to Enterprise Community Partner, run by African Americans. (In addition to Peebles, another important player is Greg ReevesThe 15-year-old Mosaic Development Partners is behind its billion dollar Philadelphia project. ) Urban Land Institutea nonprofit that advocates for urban development and growth, reports: Only 5% of all members Black.
“This is a very difficult industry to get into without wealth or capital, and the black community traditionally doesn’t participate in large numbers in either,” he said, focusing on race and racism. says Reeves, a former pharmaceutical executive at the company that hit it. Gender inequality within the commercial real estate sector. Even after the industry’s outpouring of support following the murder of George Floyd and the epidemic of buying and supporting blacks, “things remain very business as usual in the real estate industry,” says Reeves. and this is [overwhelmingly white] Institutional investors and legacy businesses looking to grow their family legacies. ”
The historic capital shortage of African Americans affects all levels of the black real estate community. According to Peebles, the affirmation tower is cost $3.5 billion (£2.9 billion) to build, Sufficient up-front funding to acquire the project Done – A tremendous achievement for developers of all races on a project of this magnitude. But since sufficient access to capital is far more exceptional than the black developer rule, securing early-stage funding for even the smallest black-led projects is equally monumental. It may feel like something
Curtis Doucet CEO of New Orleans-based Iris Developmentsays the intersection of race and economics is felt throughout the development cycle. “People in my circle may believe me, but I don’t have the money to invest.” Racial Rating Practices It can underestimate the completed development, making it difficult for builders to secure funding for subsequent projects. “At every stage of the game there is an effort to block opportunities,” he says Doucette.
This lack of opportunity doesn’t just affect black developers. Black entrepreneurs are more likely to hire black partners and often build their own communities, as Peebles’ Affirmation Tower shows they’re still waiting for the green light. Developers of color also tend to favor affordable housing, as this is often supported by a variety of public and private sector initiatives. This correlation is so great that some minority developers may stigmatize themselves and prevent them from making a profit by operating primarily in the affordable housing sector. I’m worried that
Nonetheless, to support entrepreneurs who actually look like their target community, investing in black developers could “shape neighborhoods to help them become self-reliant,” says a Baltimore-based national Bryan McLaughlin, president of a leading nonprofit lender, said: Enterprise community development. And in the wake of George Floyd’s case, he added:
In fact, both major financial institutions and specialist firms focused on equities are developing investment programs specifically targeted at black developers. For example, Citibank Funding $200 Million for Affordable Housing Program A much larger scale by a minority of developers Billion Dollar Action for Racial Equality Initiative announced shortly after George Floyd’s protests. Enterprise Communities also has his $3.5 billion program run by his partners, which supports developers of color who are focused on affordable housing.Established Capital Impact Partners (CIP) Support a $20 million fund in 2021 Thomas Houston is transforming a vacant lot in DC’s economically-challenged 7th Ward into a 31,530-square-foot multi-purpose Deanwood Station. When complete, it will include 26 affordable condos and two of his businesses owned by Bipoc, the much-anticipated grocery store, juice bar and cafe.
It’s especially important for CIP to help young developers like Houston get their first win. In addition to launching a startup fund, CIP has launched various fellowships and initiatives to educate and support young developers of color. “There is a lot of focus on performance,” said Jeff Mosley, director of CPI’s National Equitable Development Initiative, in the industry, especially as it relates to the ability of young developers to “scale.” says Mr. “We are helping show these young developers that there is a path they can achieve and do with the right support.”
In addition to institutional funding, black developers have also secured support from white investors. For example, Reaves’ Mosaic Partners We recently saw a $10 million investment from billionaire Josh Harris, co-founder of Apollo Global Management and owner of the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team. Reaves describes his investment in Harris as “very important” to the long-term growth of his Mosaic. Mosaic’s projects have generated over 200 construction-related jobs for him over the past 15 years.
In New York, Peebles Affirmation Tower has spent the past year in a regulatory stalemate after Gov. Kathy Hochul made a decision last year to rethink the site’s long-term fate. Initially, under then-Governor Andrew Cuomo, a call was made to develop the site with the type of commercial and hotel tenants Peebles planned for the Affirmation Tower. But after Cuomo stepped down in mid-2021, Cuomo’s successor came under pressure from activists to introduce affordable housing into the tower’s design, although this was against the project’s original plans. was not included. Peebles, who has built thousands of affordable units throughout his career, finds the issue cumbersome for a commercial tower that was never intended to contain any type of housing.
“This is often where they think affordable housing space is,” says Peebles. “But the Affirmation Tower will serve as an economic engine for New York as a whole.” Peebles remains in a pending pattern, waiting for Hochul to resume the bidding process for his Affirmation Tower’s proposed site. Meanwhile, Peebles said the project not only pays tribute to black design and development talent, but also serves as a permanent location for the NAACP’s New York headquarters, the National Museum of Civil Rights, and countless offices of major black companies. claims to be “This is the type of economic inclusion that countries should really encourage,” he says.
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2023/feb/23/buying-black-affirmation-tower-minority-real-estate-development The next step to buying black is building black.real estate