UB's Second Annual 'Pitch for a Million' Real Estate Development Competition Challenges Students, Alumni to Invest in City Neighborhoods
September 3, 2020
Contact: Office of Government and Public Affairs
The University of Baltimore's second annual "Pitch for a Million" real estate development competition, exclusively for UB students and alumni, will take place on Thursday, Sept. 17 at 5:30 p.m. in a virtual environment. The competition, which challenges participants to envision the development of residential, commercial, green space and more, all within the City of Baltimore, features the chance for up to $1 million in Line of Credit to start the project.
The competition is sponsored by M&T Bank, Howard Bank and the UB Real Estate and Economic Development Program Advisory Board, in partnership with Baltimore Community Lending. The event, which will gather area real estate finance experts to act as judges, will take place on Zoom. The entry code is available at https://bit.ly/34b1QGV. The event is free and open to the public.
Aspiring University of Baltimore student and alumni real estate entrepreneurs who are interested in addressing critical development needs within Baltimore's middle-market neighborhoods are chosen by real-estate professionals to go through a mentoring program with expert developers, financiers and others from the industry in the metro area. The 2020 cohort of Fellows was selected following an open call in November 2019; the group was selected last January. The Fellows participated in a series of curated trainings with local experts and community tours, This year, due to the global pandemic, half of the mentoring opportunities occurred virtually over the course of the summer.
Dubbed UB Real Estate Fellows, they receive a stipend of $1,500 for successful completion of their pitch. They also received more than $1,200 worth of design services from the Neighborhood Design Center to help visualize their visions.
While the pandemic delayed the competition final, the Fellows used this additional time to prepare in-depth plans and proposals.
"Our Real Estate Fellows didn't let the pandemic stop their dreams, and in fact, their tenacity to stick to their goals is precisely the kind of inspiration Baltimore and our neighborhoods need right now," said Seema Iyer, director of UB's Real Estate and Economic Development program and co-creator of the competition. "These Fellows are at the forefront of equitable development and I am excited for everyone to see what they have done."
The finalists are:
- A team consisting of Trina DuBose and Elson Nash created Baltimore Seed Properties (BSP) as a non-profit real estate development organization based in Baltimore, dedicated to building and redeveloping low-to-moderate energy efficient and net zero ready homes in the Greater Govans area.
- Matthew H. King developed the Progression Redevelopment Plan, a multi-phase community reinvestment project designed to bring new residential and commercial properties to Baltimore City's historically underfunded communities like Harlem Park.
- Mikita Thompson will pitch a method of manufactured-home construction, to accomplish project speed, durability, environmental-sustainability, and cost-reduction benefits, to provide safe and sanitary affordable homes to low- and moderate-income families in the Oliver neighborhood.
About the Finalists and Their Million Dollar Pitches
Trina DuBose and Elson Nash write: "Baltimore Seed Properties (BSP) is a non-profit real estate development organization based in Baltimore, and dedicated to building and redeveloping low-to-moderate energy efficient and net zero ready homes. BSP is led by founder and head of development projects Trina DuBose, a recent MBA graduate of the University of Baltimore with a background in the financial industry and real estate management. BSP's head of grant writing and fund development is Elson Nash, a third-year doctoral student at UB with a background in housing and community development. BSP is currently building three homes in the Greater Govans area in partnership with the Mid-Govans Community Association, Winston-Govans Neighborhood Improvement Association, Govane Elementary School, Loyola University and the York Road Partnership. The area was selected for its strong partnerships with the education and small-business communities, as well as support services for senior citizens. According to BSP, it has potential to capture the housing migration patterns of families moving into the northeast quadrant of the city and nearby Baltimore County.
"The Greater Govans area consists of the Mid-Govans and Winston-Govans Neighborhoods. The area is located north of downtown along the east side of the York Road Corridor. The neighborhoods consist of 1,200 homes with recent sales ranging from $48K to $350K. It is within walking distance to the York Road commercial corridor, Belvedere Square, several schools, churches and a theatre. At the heart of the community is Dewees Park, a 14-acre open space including an activity center with a wide-range of recreational activities, a community garden, and a walking trail."
Matthew H. King writes: "Being a Harlem Park resident for over 10 years, I saw the neglect and historic disinvestment that exists in my community. I decided to act by founding the Harlem Park Community Development Corporation and going back to academia to pursue a second master's degree in Nonprofit Management & Social Entrepreneurship. While attending the University of Baltimore, I was selected to participate in the REED Fellow Pitch Program for 2020. During my time in the program, I learned a lot about the various phases of real estate development.
"My Pitch for a Million called the Progression Redevelopment Plan, a multi-phase community reinvestment project designed to bring new residential and commercial properties to Baltimore City's historically underfunded communities like Harlem Park. The Progression Development Plan will result in increased property values and tax revenues as well as decreased numbers of vacant buildings and poverty levels."
Mikita Thompson writes: "The Oliver community is a historic close-knit predominantly African American residential community located in East Baltimore. It has a great walk/bike/transit score and a beautiful community garden that the residents enjoy. Oliver is in close proximity to the Johns Hopkins Medical Campus and only minutes away from popular tourist attractions, shopping and dining at the Inner Harbor. More than two-thirds of the neighborhood consists of female-headed households with children under 18. Sadly, the former middle-class Oliver community home values continue to suffer from the economic downturn over the past century, and currently struggles to recover from its depressed upside-down market. Nearly one-third of the houses in the community are vacant and abandoned. My mission is to aid in revitalization, alongside several great organizations, such as the Oliver Community Association and Rebuild Metro, to help beautify the long-neglected areas of this beloved community.
"I chose four vacant-to-value lots a few blocks west of the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum. I developed a plan to transform these abandoned vacant lots into newly constructed, breathtaking three-story, three-bedroom townhomes with two and a half baths, that do not require government subsidies and combats gentrification. I plan to utilize the method of manufactured-home construction, to accomplish project speed, durability, environmental-sustainability, and cost-reduction benefits, to provide safe and sanitary affordable homes to low- and moderate-income families. I look forward to promoting homeownership and engaging in neighborhood recovery, which directly benefits the citizens that need it the most within our community."
The University of Baltimore is a member of the University System of Maryland and comprises the College of Public Affairs, the Merrick School of Business, the UB School of Law and the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences.