William C. Smith + Co.

project_william_06


Testimonial
The Situation
The Need
The Solution

Testimonial

Chris Smith, Chairman & CEO – William C. Smith + Co. –

Alvin’s keen understanding of real estate development and his knack for building and maximizing important relationships were keys to helping us achieve success in the development of the Villages of Parklands. He understands the risks, requirements, and urgencies of a private investor. And he has the skills, patience, and personality to successfully work within a corporate environment like Fannie Mae or a complicated government agency, to deliver the solutions that a private real estate investor needs. He was an invaluable member of our team.

project_william_02

The Situation
In 1991, William C. Smith & Company acquired the Parklands apartments, a badly deteriorated 54-acre 1,281-unit housing complex. Located in an economically challenged neighborhood in Southeast Washington, DC, the Parklands property was plagued with crime and drug activities. Tenant flight had reduced occupancy rates to 60%, and the property’s 25,000 square foot retail center offered only fast food and check cashing stores. Making matters even more difficult, Parklands was burdened with $3 million in overdue real estate taxes and utility bills.

The Need
Chris Smith saw an opportunity for this collection of dilapidated properties to be redeveloped into a vibrant and lively family-oriented community – an anchor that could spark the transformation of an entire sector of the city that had suffered severely from disinvestment.  To make this vision a reality, Chris needed a strong, engaged and committed partner, to help his company strategize and gather the substantial resources necessary to develop the project.

project_william_03

The Solution
The Smith Company found the partner it needed in Alvin Nichols and Fannie Mae’s Washington DC office, where Alvin was the Director of Partnership Initiatives. Alvin’s objective was to engage strong investment/development partners such as William C. Smith & Company, to achieve just the kind of community impact that Chris Smith wanted to make in Southeast Washington DC.

Smith, with the help of Alvin and the DC office team engaging Fannie Mae’s multiple investment resources and tools (and in collaboration with other strong business partners), completely rebuilt Parklands into “The Villages of Parklands” – a transformational community of 853 modernized apartments, 210 new townhomes, pocket parks, and a magnificent Children’s Splash Park. This now tasteful and eminently livable neighborhood overlooks THEARC, the Smith-inspired crown jewel of Southeast Washington, DC – a gleaming “arts, education and recreation” center, set on a 16.5-acre campus. The revitalization of the Villages of Parklands served as the catalyst for the rebirth of an entire ward of the District of Columbia.