REDI Aims to Build Diversity in St. Louis Real Development
The Urban Land Institute (ULI) St. Louis will begin receiving applications on June 1, 2021 for the third year of a pioneering education initiative aimed at broadening the diversity of real estate development professionals locally. Launched in 2019, the Real Estate Diversity Initiative (REDI) aims to help people of color and women advance their careers as real estate developers. The program is part of a larger effort by ULI St. Louis to energize greater engagement in equitable development, responding to the calls to action in the benchmark Ferguson Commission report.
The month-long application window opens on June 1, 2021 will be posted on the ULI St. Louis web site at www.stlouis.uli.org. Classes will run on Monday evenings from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. from Aug 30, 2021 to – Dec 13, 2021.
“After listening to students and our volunteer teaching corps, we’ve made some refinements to the REDI program,” said Kacey Cordes, chair of ULI St. Louis and Vice President of Affordable Housing at US Bancorp CDC. “They include more detailed information on certain aspects of the curriculum, such as construction and community engagement, as well as broader plans for follow-on engagement with other professionals and potential mentors in the real estate industry.”
REDI features a 15-session curriculum taught by ULI volunteer professionals in the fields of finance, design, urban planning and real estate development. The curriculum covers feasibility studies, financing, market research and real estate planning and engages students in work on an active development site. To date, 56 students have been taught in the REDI program.
A total of 19 volunteer instructors and 16 volunteer mentors guide students through the REDI program. The instructors come from well known companies in the real estate industry, including LJC, Development Strategies, SWT Design, Green Street St. Louis and more. Mentors are drawn from companies such as NorthPoint Development, CASCO+R5, Enterprise Bank, Cortex, US Bank and others.
“We are grateful to our volunteer instructors and mentors,” said Cordes. “They have bought into the long-term benefits of broadening diversity in local real estate industry. Engagement in REDI also helps them identify and develop high potential prospects that could be a good fit for their teams.”
ULI-St. Louis also has a companion program called UrbanPlan that empowers high school students to more fully understand and participate in land use decisions. Now in its fifth year, ULI-St. Louis volunteers have taught more than 150 students in the UrbanPlan program.
With more than 250 members, ULI St. Louis unites thought leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Its members include real estate, design, construction, institutional, legal and accounting professionals along with civic leadership. For more information, visit www.stlouis.uli.org.