The business model of a small developer depends on relationships, resourcefulness, and adaptability. Many Memphians look at their neighborhoods and wish someone would fix a building, fill a storefront, or create something new in a vacant, overgrown lot. The Emerging Developer Boot Camp is for those “someones” - people who see opportunity in this city and need some help figuring out how to channel that into a physical impact and legacy.
An electrician who has been a subcontracting for a while. They’re itching to lead their own project and feel confident that between their own skills and connections to other trades it would get done right. They’re on the lookout for a project idea and need some help identifying opportunity and assessing whether something is a good deal.
- A project manager at a local housing organization who wants to build an 8-plex on one of many lots available through a land bank. They need help picking a site, crunching the numbers, and designing a dignified building. Their goal is to create something affordable by design, not by subsidy.
- A church has been raising funds to build a community home for victims of abuse in their neighborhood. They already own the land and have found some comparable projects that inspire them but do not know what to do next.
- An orthodontist is looking to diversify their investment portfolio and sees local real estate as an ethical and meaningful place to put their money to work.
- A bank is having a hard time finding suitable projects to which they can lend capital and fulfill their obligations as per the Community Reinvestment Act. They are looking to support locals who have the capacity and character to make great things happen, but need the cash to get started.
- The director of a business improvement area is looking for ways to support their members. They know plenty of small business owners and the ins and outs of every commercial building on their block. What they need is a strategy and set of tools to make the most of every square foot they steward.
- An economic development officer knows the importance of small scale and bottom-up investment. They are looking for creative ways to apply their tools, influence, and budget to support small scale actors without trying to micro-manage their success.
- A team of staff from the City are feeling discouraged. They’ve done their best to create plans and programs to encourage walkable urban development. Still, every proposal that lands on their desk is less than ideal. They want to see things from a developer’s perspective - how would one go about building something beautiful, affordable, and walkable?