Being good stewards is fundamental to the pursuit of our mission to Build Community and Better People's Lives.
At Crescent Communities, we strive to make difficult decisions that address current and future challenges and to improve continuously in order to have a positive impact on the PLANET, the PEOPLE, and the PLACES we build and call home. We hold ourselves accountable through regular evaluation of our practices and ongoing measurement. Our goal is to ensure that the communities under our stewardship flourish for years to come. We seek to create legacies, the value of which build with time.
STATEMENT OF STEWARDSHIP
FOUR PILLARS OF STEWARDSHIP
ENVIRONMENT, COMMUNITY, WELLNESS, AND LONGEVITY
We seek opportunities to create impact in areas where these four pillars unite, and where we can best serve as stewards of the people, the planet, and the places where we live, work, and play.
We understand that the process of community development can have unintended negative environmental consequences. We are committed to making choices that reduce our environmental impact, and proactively seek opportunities to support organizations that foster positive environmental change.
We believe a community is a network of relationships, enriched by shared values and motivated by the fundamental human desire to be part of something greater. Whether we’re working with our associates, customers, or neighbors, we strive to find common ground and provide opportunities for productive communities to form and flourish.
We invest to create environments that support people’s physical and emotional well-being. We believe if we can design communities where healthy choices are easy to make, we in turn support the well-being of every person who lives, works, and plays there. In the end, our mission is to build environments that become the catalyst for a healthier and happier lifestyle.
We approach community building with the future in mind. In order to create communities that remain relevant over time, we balance our vision and values with flexibility to adapt. Focusing on a foundation of resiliency allows us to seed a community that will sustain and continue to thrive long after our involvement has ended.
We choose to support community organizations that align with the three pillars of Crescent Communities CARES - EDUCATION, ENVIRONMENT, AND SHELTER. We seek to create a culture of passionate engagement while addressing some of the most challenging issues affecting our communities, such as affordable housing, chronic homelessness, educational disparity, and the climate crisis.
Berryhill School has long been a standout among Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s high-poverty schools. The title one school, which houses students from Kindergarten through 8th Grade, is located in West Charlotte between the airport and the Catawba River, and has top-notch teachers and a dedicated staff. When Crescent Communities recognized the potential at the school, the team reached out to learn how we could get involved.
The Crescent Communities team has partnered to read with the students, fill backpacks with school supplies, and to provide a complete overhaul to the landscaping surrounding the building.
Each winter, the Crescent Communities team hosts a small group of bright and promising 8th grade students from Berryhill for a career day. Students learn about real estate development from different perspectives and many had the opportunity to visit Uptown Charlotte for the first time!
In Spring, 2019, with the help of kindergarten and first grade students, Crescent Communities planted fruits, vegetables, and flowers in raised garden beds offering an opportunity for education not only through planting, but through the care, maintenance, and eventual cultivation of the fruits of their labor.
We expect great things from the students and staff at Berryhill School, and look forward to continuing to create impact through this meaningful partnership.
TREES ARE THE LIFEBLOOD OF OUR COMMUNITIES, providing shade, oxygen, protection from wind and noise, food and shelter for wildlife, filtering stormwater, reducing energy consumption, increasing home values and offsetting carbon emissions. While we try to make business decisions that have a minimal impact on the environment, Crescent Communities understands that the real estate development process can put our green space and tree canopy at risk.
To help offset our impact, for every apartment leased in the Charlotte-area, Crescent Communities makes a donation to TREES CHARLOTTE.
The Tree for a Key initiative was first implemented with Crescent Dilworth in 2015 and since that time, we have planted roughly 1300 trees throughout the city of Charlotte. With the addition of three new properties to the program – Novel Research Park, Novel Montford Park and Novel Atherton – we intend to add hundreds more trees to the canopy through 2020.
The Crescent Communities team gives our time and energy to Habitat for Humanity in several of the markets in which we have offices. For the third year, our multifamily team organized the Habitat for Humanity Charlotte Multifamily Developers Build in 2019. Through this program, 15 Charlotte-area multifamily developers and partners teamed up with Habitat for Humanity Charlotte to fund and build a new home on Millhaven Lane in North Charlotte. The building project commenced on April 25th and was completed in July.
A typical Habitat for Humanity Home requires nearly 2000 hours of volunteer time. While many hours are contributed by volunteers, the future homeowners also take part in the construction of their home. Through the “sweat-equity” required by Habitat for Humanity, homeowners will perform 300 to 400 hours of service on their home project or on other projects. Contrary to common beliefs, owners of Habitat for Humanity homes are still responsible for mortgage payments. Through a Habitat issued mortgage, they benefit from an affordable fixed rate mortgage.
The challenges of affordable housing can only be addressed if approached from many angles. We will continue to seek opportunities where we can best serve in addressing the need for affordable housing.
The built environment offers a significant opportunity to make meaningful change when it comes to our overall environmental impact. By building more efficiently, we can affect positive change with regard to energy consumption, water use, and waste reduction. In order to identify areas for improvement, we must measure our actions.
Nearly all of our commercial communities are LEED certified. Since 2014, each of our multifamily communities have been certified (or are pursuing certification) under either the National Green Building Standard (NGBS) or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Many people are familiar with LEED, and NGBS is relatively similar. To earn certification to the National Green Building Standard, a multifamily building must meet rigorous criteria in six categories – Lot & Site Development; Resource Efficiency; Energy Efficiency; Water Efficiency; Indoor Environmental Quality; and Homeowner Education.
Building to a green standard ensures residents that their home will be comfortable and efficient. With reduced energy use, water consumption, and construction waste, we limit our impact on the environment. By incorporating walkability and access into community design, we are connecting to the greater community.
We believe that everyone has the right to safe and comfortable housing. Access to affordable housing is the key to reducing economic disparity, but creating affordable housing continues to be a challenge in many of the areas where we build due to a variety of
factors, including the cost of land. To this end, in the fall of 2018, Crescent Communities announced the donation of 4.5 acres of land in The River District to the Foundation for the Carolinas for the construction of affordable housing. The gift, valued at $2 million, is the first of its kind as part of the Foundation led
effort to raise funds from the private sector to address Charlotte’s affordable housing crisis. Charlotte-based
developer, Laurel Street Partners, will create a 124-unit mixed-income housing community on this land.
While Crescent Communities supports back-to-school efforts for those in need through an annual supply drive, this year, we were presented with a unique opportunity to make a HUGE impact in a more direct way. The Crescent Communities team provided backpacks stocked with all essential school supplies for 128 Charlotte-are students housed with Supportive Housing Communities. While this organization supplies immediate housing for our very vulnerable homeless population, they also extend their wrap-around services to families in need of housing and support.
The Crescent Communities CARES team set up an online wish-list, allowing team members from across the country to contribute supplies from their home offices. Through the overwhelming generosity of the team paired with the support of Crescent Communities, these students will have the physical resources they need to learn - whether from home or in the classroom. Read more HERE.
Although the event was originally scheduled for April in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, the Crescent Communities CARES team gathered with the North Carolina Wildlife Federation in October 2020 for the rescheduled event! The goal of the day was to plant trees and collect trash in support of the NCWF Trees4Trash Program, through which 1 tree is planted for every 25 pounds of trash that is removed from the environment. The CARES team planted 30 trees along the Irwin Creek Greenway and removed plastics and other trash along the way on a very warm fall day.
Trees4Trash is incredibly important because wildlife suffer in many ways from our plastic refuse through suffocation, poisoning and ingestion. If we remove these plastic items before they make it into the waters, we are protecting both the terrestrial and aquatic species from this harmful trash.