If you asked 100 people for one word that describes 2020, you would probably hear that word more than a few times.
There is no denying that the global pandemic has impacted every aspect of this world.
From how and where we conduct our daily work; to the ways in which we stay connected to our families, friends, customers and other social networks, a willingness to embrace change has been essential to surviving this year. Although some of these changes will fade away as an international vaccination initiative moves forward, others are here to stay.
During the early stages of this pandemic when local governments were asking residents to work from home and schools moved to online non-traditional instructions, the inequities that millions in our country face each day were on full display.
Whether it is the huge digital divide that prevents millions of children from receiving a quality education because they lack access to a computer or internet; or the inadequate housing conditions many people are forced to call home, the events of this year have shined a light on the fact that there are areas where we need to find a new normal and address some of the inequities COVID- 19 has helped to expose.
We founded LDG Development more than 25 years ago based on our shared belief that everyone deserves a quality place to live.
While you would think that such a simple sentiment would be easy to embrace, because of our work in developing more than 15,000 units across the country, we understand better than most that this simply is not true. In fact, on any given development, we spend countless hours responding to “concerns” from groups who believe their neighborhoods “just are not right for an affordable housing” development. And while the objections are often disguised as concerns regarding traffic; lack of public transportation and other services, we understand that more often than not, these concerns are based on a narrow and biased view of working families and the poor that is rooted in racism and xenophobia.
If this country is going to truly move forward and implement many of the changes that have been called during this past year, then working to make sure everyone has access to quality housing must be a part of the plan. After all, the place someone calls “home” is the foundation on which all other dreams and hopes are built.
At LDG, we have tried to do our part to bring about some of the changes needed in communities across the country.
Highlights of the year include:
- Closing on 13 new communities that will produce more than 2,500 units of affordable housing for families across the country
- Donating $1.2 million in scholarship funding to organizations focused on supporting college bound students living in Section 8 housing and helping to remove some of the systemic barriers that prevent students from pursuing a post-secondary degree
- Creating a new property management and residential services organization—Solidago—that will be focus on providing our residents with access to a variety of services that can help to improve and enrich their lives
- Assisted almost four dozen families who experienced a lost in income due to the pandemic remain in their home.
While we are proud of these accomplishments, we know that it does not begin to address the estimated 7 million units that are needed to address this nation’s affordable housing crisis. But we are in this for the long haul; and have committed ourselves to developing even more communities that families are proud to call home; and a workforce that is as diverse as the populations serve.
As we prepare to write the next chapter of LDG, there are many others who deserve the credit for the success we have experienced.
To the political and community leaders, as well as the housing authorities that help us to provide cities with much needed housing, please know that we are honored and humbled that you are partnering with us to provide the communities you represent with quality housing. Please know that we do not take the trust you have placed in us for granted and that and that you and the families you serve will always be our top priority.
To the banks, financial institutions and other investors who ensure we have the financial resources needed to move from planning to implementation, we thank you for sharing in our belief that everyone deserves a quality place to live; and for investing in housing that can transform a neighborhood.
And, most importantly, to the more than 100 employees who have made this year possible, we say thank you.
All the accomplishments and milestones LDG Development, Xpert Design and Construction, Rickhaus, and soon, Solidago, have achieved are a direct reflection of your commitment to our work and our founding philosophy that everyone deserves a quality place to live.
And now, onward.
We’re not only building homes: we’re supporting careers, encouraging education, and fulfilling dreams. We give hard-working families and seniors in your community a place where they can hang up their hat.
What We Do
We started LDG because we believe, quite simply, that everybody deserves a quality place to live.
With over 25 years building affordable housing developments, we’ve seen that the benefits go so much further and deeper than any one individual.
- We nurture economic growth by providing quality homes for the families, students, and workers that help a community thrive.
- Children do better in school. Mental health issues go down. People can focus on what really matters instead of just trying to survive.
- Many of the factors that create future crime, drug problems, and violence are actually eliminated.
How We've Helped
Your local cafeteria worker, the rookie firefighters that keep you safe, your neighbor’s grandmother—these are the people we’re creating homes for.
As a result, we find tremendous growth within the communities after we touch them. Local businesses prosper, kids do better at school, and hard-working parents worry less about keeping their children safe. These are the metrics of our success.
Think we’re on to something here?
Mark and Chris
What Our Tenants Are Saying
Our Partner Companies
In 2020, as LDG’s pipeline continued to expand, so did the volume of units Xpert Design and Construction—the company’s wholly owned construction and management firm— was tasked with producing. Xpert met that challenge by remaining committed to excellence; and by remaining engaged throughout the development process. This involvement helped to avoid many of the roadblocks and delays that can hamper even the most well-planned endeavor and helped the organization to create more than 2,500 units across the country.
Terry Kanaly, director of construction, says that since Xpert completed its first project, Le Jolliet Apartment Community in June 2020. The team continues to focus on increasing the annual output, without sacrificing the quality that helps to define an LDG developed property.
“Our goal at Xpert is pretty simple: to quickly and efficiently produce units that any employee would be proud to live in,” said Kanaly. “The more and faster we are able to do this, the more residents will have access to the solid foundation needed to support other goals they may have for their family.
As the architectural design subsidiary for LDG, Rickhaus Design views its role similarly. From assessing potential sites to ensure a proposed concept “works” for the types of structures and amenities being considered; to designing the spaces that hundreds of families will live, work and play, the founding of Rickhaus furthered the LDG’s goal of streamlining the development process associated with building new high quality multi-family housing in communities across the country. In 2020, this streamlined approach resulted in Rickhaus securing over 13 permits and other needed approvals in 5 states long before a deal closed, and construction began.
“Rickhaus is focused on making sure that Xpert has everything it needs to begin construction as soon as it is ready to go,” said Sam Bick, executive vice president, Rickhaus Design. “Whether it is filing for the local permits that can vary from community; or the ensuring that they have and are aware of any last-minute design modifications, the goal is to remove any barriers that has the potential to delay construction.”
XDC and Rickhaus in the coming year...
In 2021, both organizations expect to remain busy given LDG’s pipeline. Selected priorities for Xpert and Rickhaus for the year include:
- Expanding civil and architectural consultant resources in Texas to service growing pipeline
- Xpert priority
- Expand civil consultant resources in North Carolina, Ohio and other markets that are being considered for developments.
- Xpert Priority
While Xpert and Rickhaus may view their 2021 priorities a bit differently, the expected end result remains the same—ensuring LDG can deliver on its efforts to change the world; one community at a time, by providing high-quality affordable housing that families are proud to call home.
At LDG, our goal has always extended beyond providing high quality real estate that working families and active seniors are proud to call home. That’s because we understand that for many of our residents, access to meaningful services and amenities that can enrich their lives is just as important. To help us achieve this work, we launched Solidago Residential Services—our property and asset management wholly owned subsidiary that will focus on providing high quality service to our residents in the Austin and San Antonio markets. From financial literacy classes that can put families on track to achieve some of their short- and long-term financial goals; to onsite health screenings that can help residents connect with a service provider in their community, our goal is to make sure residents living in a Solidago managed community have access to many of the resources and tools they need to thrive.
To advance this effort, LDG is partnering with Cardinal Management Group—one of the country’s premier fully integrated real estate management firms that is driven by a culture focused on excellence, teamwork, and top talent. Through this white label management agreement, Cardinal Management Group will hire, train, and oversee Solidago employees who will manage LDG properties within Austin and San Antonio. Cardinal Management Group will also help to ensure some of Solidago’s founding principles and qualities including– a resident first culture; a commitment excellence and integrity; and a focus to doing what is right—become the backbone of the culture that will shape and drive this new organization.
Efforts to switch the property management functions over to Solidago are underway and will be complete by (month). Once finalized, Solidago will manage 18 communities that are providing 4040 units to families and seniors throughout these communities.
So, what’s behind the name?
Solidago is the scientific name for the Golden Rod — the official flower for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The name is rooted in the Latin word “Solido” which means “to make whole.” In the summer and spring months, this sun loving flowering plant can be easily found throughout the Bluegrass State and is a symbol of encouragement and growth — two important attributes that will help define the experience we will provide families living in a Solidago managed community.
By the Numbers
In 2020, LDG posted some BIG numbers that provide a good overview of some of our successes in 2020.
That’s the number of affordable units LDG was able to complete and make available to hard working families across the country. These units span across 8 properties that are located in Texas, Kentucky, Georgia and Louisiana.
That’s the number of deals we closed in 2020. Once complete, these developments will provide more than 3,000 units of affordable and workforce housing in communities like Nashville, Georgetown, Louisville, Houston and Baton Rouge.
Working with local, state and federal agencies and officials, LDG was able to help more than 400 families who experienced a reduction or loss of income due to the on-going global pandemic secure the rental assistance needed to remain in their homes. Additionally, our property management staff, have and will continue to connect our residents other resources that can help families meet some of their basic needs.
That is the amount of funding in scholarships that LDG provided through its foundation. With this funding, students in Texas, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and several other states have the financial resources they need to pursue a post-secondary degree or certification.
That’s average number of people who work at one of our sites full time while a community is under construction.
That’s the amount of contracts we awarded to local businesses, vendors and contractors we’ve entrusted to help build our properties.
That’s the estimated number of families who call a LDG community….home!