Panel questions and answers:
1) Historically, financial institutions had trouble lending money in the Southside. Could you explain why capital wasn't flowing South for projects and why there seems to be "loosening" of capital? Or is there?
Panelist: There was an implicit bias and neighborhoods were essentially "redlined" by the bank. Basically, banks were lending to the northside and not necessarily the southside. Now, banks are regulated by the government to make loans all over the city. So, now its about relationships. Find a banker to speak with and help them get to know you so that doing a deal will be possible. Also, pay attention to your credit score. Cash flow and equity are hugely important - your credit score falls in this bucket, too.
2) What is your sense of the current market on the Southside?
Panelist: Assisted living facilities are a sore need on the Southside. We are fighting that perception of Hispanics historically wanting to take care of their elderly parents. Well, we're Americans as well and there is a real need.
3) We've often talked about Culturally Sensitive development, especially around the Missions. If I was an outside developer, what do you think the best approach is when considering these sensitive areas?
Panelist: First, zoning and overlays are challenging. However, there is a lot of misinformation surrounding these distinct areas. We need to educate the public on planning for the future in regards to policy. Let's begin by understanding what future we want for ourselves and what the property we own or want to own will support this vision. As a developer, I ask myself how do I transform a place into what I want it to be for the community?