Practicing ArchitecturePracticing Architecture
Tell the AIA—and Potential Investors--About Your Stalled Project
A new AIA website will pair stalled design projects with investors who have the cash to get these buildings (and the rest of the economy) moving again
It is no secret that design and construction has been one of the industries hit hardest by the economic recession. Access to credit continues to be the biggest challenge plaguing the design and construction industry, according to a recent survey of AIA members. It dwarfs every other issue facing the profession today.
Because of this, the AIA has been promoting and will continue to promote policies designed to help turn the economy around and get architects and communities back to work. For example, the AIA supports the Capital Access for Main Street (CAMS) Act, introduced by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), which would temporarily allow small community banks with under $10 billion in assets to spread out or amortize a portion of their commercial real estate loans over a seven-year period. These banks, which provide loans to developers and business (including architecture clients), would then have more liquid capital available to make responsible loans.
But while the AIA continues to work the chambers of Congress, it’s certain that the profession can't simply rely on the federal government for a solution. As such, the AIA in June announced its intent to develop a database of real world projects that were stalled due to lack of financing. With this announcement, we were astounded by the amount of interest the idea generated from dozens of potential investors, all of whom had money to lend for development, and who wanted access to the information being compiled. So, the AIA’s advocacy team decided to expand on the original concept, and create an online mechanism to facilitate the ability of members and their clients to connect with potential investors.
In this issue of AIArchitect, the AIA is pleased to announce that this website is now active for your use. Here’s how to use it.
This page can act as a meeting place between architects/developers and real estate lender/investors. To that end, you will see a box on the right side of the web page that can be used by either a project owner/developer/architect, or investor. For a project owner, the online form asks for such details as the density of a project and whether it is new or retrofit construction. (See the list of information gathered about each project below for guidance.) This information will then be used by investors who list themselves on the site and who might be interested in financing your project. Given confidentiality considerations, you are free to enter (or not enter) whatever data you choose. However, the more information you give, the more likely it is that an investor will reach out to you.
Of course, this page will only be useful to the investment community if there are enough projects for them to consider. That’s why it’s vital to populate the site with projects that need financing. This web page will be refreshed as the AIA obtains feedback, which you can email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please help put this new initiative on the map!
Information Gathered about Each Project:
• Project status
• Reason for stall
• Building type
• New construction or retrofit
• Existing energy rates/energy savings
• Previous/current developer information
• Project equity
• Target interest rate/term
• Tax status/credit profile
• Entitlements (PUD, environmental studies, zoning issues, status of construction docs/government approvals)
• Impact fees
Visit the Stalled Projects website.