…They want to fix the problems they see in the world, and they know that setting up a company that can sustain itself with profits is the key to funding those causes…
…but if we peel back the layers on social enterprises, and we peel until we are left with the core reason why a company was started, we will see only one thing for all social enterprises: people.
People are the entire point. Period.”
– Source: Rank & File Magazine
Learn About JJK Places
People & Community + Business + Public Good = JJK PLACES, PBC
JJK Places, PBC is first and foremost about PEOPLE…and making great PLACES for people and their communities. It’s about impact, leveraging social capital, thinking outside the conventional real estate investment box, and seeking ways to solve existing social challenges. At its foundation, it’s about using real estate to create PLACES than benefit and serve PEOPLE, while respecting the environment, and creating long-term value for developers, investors, collaborative partners, and the community alike.
A New Kind of Company
JJK Places is on the forefront of a global movement to redefine the purpose of business. Many increasingly believe business should be a force for creating public good, and not singularly about just generating economic returns.
Social enterprises around the world are embracing this new business goal of “doing good” along with generating a profit, and as a result are becoming powerful forces for addressing our planet’s myriad social and environmental challenges.
JJK Places was created based on this business belief—and by being legally structured as a Colorado “public benefit corporation” (PBC) it has a statutory obligation to deliver social benefits as a company objective.
JJK Places is a unique “hybrid company.” As such, JJK Places contains the best mission-driven attributes of a nonprofit organization, merged with the market power, financial discipline, accountability, business management acumen, access to private capital markets, and entrepreneurial dexterity inherent in the best for-profit companies. This new innovative business structure allows companies like JJK Places to better bridge multiple economic sectors, thereby capturing and implementing the shared missions that exist between very different organizations that are trying to address similar existing social and environmental challenges. In this way, JJK Places stands as an “implementor” for its many collaborative partners and project stakeholder groups, who are all from varied economic sectors.
This is a very new business model and goal for a for-profit real estate company. Nationally there are few other for-profit real estate development companies that embrace a true social impact model to the level that JJK Places has been structured to accomplish in the Denver metro area. In the future, we believe JJK Places’ model has the potential to be scalable and duplicated in other geographic locations.
A Different Type of Company
As a social impact enterprise involved in mission-driven real estate, JJK Places is intent on using its unique structure and public good mission to change the prevailing paradigm of how people and communities think about real estate development and developers. Not all development is inherently bad for a neighborhood, nor are all developers singularly focused on profit at the exclusion of all else.
By definition, as a social impact company legally structured as a Colorado public benefit corporation (PBC), JJK Places is different from conventional real estate developers.
JJK Places exist for one reason: to harness the power, problem-solving expertise, fiscal discipline, entrepreneurial thinking, and access to financial capital of the for-profit commercial real estate world, and collectively channel them into creating public good real estate, or better known as “social impact real estate” (or “SIRE”). We focus 100 percent of our time and efforts only on social impact real estate projects that will produce significant public good—particularly in urban infill locations, along transit corridors, and in historically underserved communities.
JJK Places originates, develops, and partners/joint ventures on real estate development projects, as well as offers fee project management and consulting services on such future projects that have the potential to deliver social and community benefits, while generating competitive risk-adjusted economic returns.
Additionally, JJK Places exists to be a Thought Leader and Changemaker in the realm of social impact real estate (“SIRE”) by promoting the intentional use of real estate and property development to increase opportunity, community, and social equity, especially in historically marginalized and disadvantaged neighborhoods.
The reason for this unique business structure? Simply put, some state it best when they say of social impact enterprises intent on addressing are prevailing social and environmental challenges, “More margin means more mission.”
At its foundation, JJK Places is a real estate development and consulting company, but with a twist.
We use real estate to advance lives, not just create space to rent or sell. Real estate is therefore our tool to further people’s lives, increase community and opportunity, and create prosperity and long-term value for multiple stakeholders, including investors and the community. Therefore, as a business model, the higher our revenue is, the more public good we are able to produce. It’s a synergistic model.
PUBLIC GOOD ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Our goal is to increase the amount of affordable living options for working households and families, starting in the Denver metro area. This includes creating more “income appropriate” housing along with producing/preserving more commercial space for community-serving uses. We seek to use housing and commercial space together to breakdown obstacles impeding access to opportunity, particularly in historically underserved communities. Our company Vision Statement summarizes this goal well: Ultimately, we seek to “Eliminate barriers to possibilities.”
At JJK Places, we call this “public good entrepreneurship,” and believe it will become an increasingly more significant sector of the business environment. For many, the concept of businesses also “doing good” may be easy to accept on the surface, but when it causes a company to do business in an entirely different way, and to make decisions with multiple new priorities, the consequential question becomes, “Why do it?”
PUBLIC BENEFITS VERSUS PROFIT
Why try to create public benefits at the same time as trying to generate profit? Aren’t the two counter-productive, often presenting conflicting objectives?
We say no, they are not. The reasons for this are fourfold:
1) First, the reason to seek both economic returns and social returns is because business has the capacity to become a huge force for creating public good—to many experts, business may be our last great hope to address today’s myriad global social and environmental challenges.
2) The public and markets are rapidly causing this growing trend towards more socially conscious companies and “social impact enterprises.” Likewise, it is causing too the growth of new investment funds specializing in social impact investing. Pure and simple, more and more people want to spend their money and invest their dollars with companies that are “doing good.”
3) Therefore, if a company doesn’t want to become obsolete in the future, necessity will eventually require all businesses to be “doing good” at some level. Companies are adapting to this market-driven change; they are altering their operations, policies, even their products and services to be more socially and environmentally benefiting.
4) Lastly, there is a growing realization that the entire impact that one’s investments can make are extraordinarily large if we include all the ancillary effects, influences, and indirect implications that a sum of investment money can have above and beyond simply a financial ROI number. JJK Places recognizes this multiplier or ripple effect that when properly channeled, planned, and implemented, mission-drive real estate can have dramatic effects on the lives of many people. It is why our business model is not just about producing space to rent or sell as an end product (what most convention developers produce), but rather, we view real estate as a tool that can produce a different end product, namely increased opportunity, community, and social equity.
Some believe that one day the norm in business will be for all companies to be pursuing public good along with profit.
But until all companies are doing it, we are fine being on the forefront of a new movement, and to be positioned to be leading that charge in metro Denver, and beyond.
5 PUBLIC GOOD PURPOSES OF JJK PLACES
As a SIRE company, JJK Places has five (5) social benefit real estate purpose that are the priorities in all our work—they propel the strategic direction of our company:
- Housing: Create more “income appropriate housing” options for households at a variety of income levels.
- Commercial Space: Produce/preserve more commercial space targeted specifically for community-serving uses.
- Community Engagement: Ensure authentic community engagement and input in projects, starting at project concept (“Equitable Development”).
- 6 Sustainabilities: Prioritize JJK Places’ “6 Sustainabilities” in projects. These include: social, cultural, generational, economic, individual health & wellness, and environmental.
- Value Development: Maximize multiple community values inherent in real estate, not singularly only economic value (what we call doing “Value Development”)
JJK Places’ goal is to conceptualize, plan, fund, and implement creative solutions that can help address two of Denver and Colorado’s most pressing real estate needs: the lack of enough “income appropriate” housing options (i.e., what JJK prefers to call affordable housing), along with the increasing loss of economically accessible commercial space available for community-oriented uses.
JJK will seek out and structure projects which possess strict real estate economic fundamentals, but by using a business model that combines for-profit financial discipline with a mission-driven purpose, JJK Places seeks to address some of Denver’s most crucial growth challenges.
JJK PLACES “6 RULES FOR SIRE”
JJK Places maintains that there should be six (6) characteristics of social impact real estate. We call them the “6 Rules for SIRE.” JJK Places believes these should be promoted, maintained, and delivered as part of all authentic social impact real estate projects. The “6 Rules for SIRE” are:
- RESPECT: Respect and listen to the community, we are guests in their neighborhood.
- COLLABORATION: Can only be accomplished through the successful cooperation and collaboration of a large cohort of parties who traditionally conflict in conventional real estate transactions.
- IMPACT: A significant new positive impact must be made to help address an existing community’s challenges.
- EQUAL PRIORITIES: Planning, design, and implementation of a project must prioritize existing members of a community, health and wellness, social interaction, the environment, and surrounding neighborhood physical context as criteria equal to generating economic returns.
- DIVERSE CAPITAL: Harnesses the power of diverse capital sources and directs them collectively into creating public good.
- LONG-TERM VALUE: Must deliver long-term value for all stakeholders.
JJK New Project Criteria