CHARLOTTE, N.C. (July 12, 2018) – Crescent Communities today announced it has launched an initiative to enhance opportunities for minority, women and small businesses (MWSBE) to be included in the bidding process for the company’s developments, including two high-profile projects beginning this year. Crescent will host a forum on July 18, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., at Carole Hoefner Center, to bring together MWSBE businesses to learn more about Crescent’s businesses and project opportunities with the company and its general contractors. The forum is open to all MWSBE businesses and there is no charge to attend. Attendees are encouraged to RSVP by July 16 using the password COMMUNITY.
As part of this initiative, Crescent will expand on commitments it made in 2017 for The River District, a 1,400-acre landmark mixed-use community the company will develop over three decades in conjunction with Lincoln Harris, to include Ally Charlotte Center in Uptown Charlotte. As a Charlotte-based real estate company, Crescent is further prioritizing diversity and inclusion initiatives as a means to address disparities and create opportunities by setting minority, women, and small business goals across the company’s businesses, for both public and private projects.
“Building on our purpose to build community and better people’s lives, we are committed to exploring ways to make sure more people have the opportunity to participate in, and benefit from, the rapid development that is reshaping Charlotte,” said Todd Mansfield, President and CEO of Crescent Communities. “By challenging ourselves in this way, we have the opportunity to expand beyond the immediate communities we build to have an even greater impact in the special city we all call home. This is an unprecedented time of positive growth for the Queen City, but also one where we must look for solutions to some of our greatest challenges, from workforce training to catalyzing upward economic mobility.”
Historically, across industries, minority, women and small firms struggle to find their “place at the table” and to know when projects have needs they may be able to fulfill. Crescent’s pilot initiative is intended to help bridge this gap and promote economic growth and development in the City of Charlotte by hosting a series of events, forums and information sessions to inform the subcontracting community about its projects and arranging introductory sessions matchmaking minority, women, and small businesses with larger subcontractors and general contractors.
“Through this initiative we will open a line of dialogue. Clearly and consistently communicating opportunities as they become available is a key first step in ensuring we engage with more firms, ultimately improving workforce diversity and creating opportunities that offer shared value for Crescent, the City and a mix of smaller businesses,” added Brian Leary, President of Commercial and Mixed Use at Crescent Communities. “Our intention is to fine-tune our efforts over time, staying true to our goals to deliver exceptional mixed use communities while being increasingly inclusive. We hope our actions will inspire others across the Queen City.”
Crescent Communities has enlisted the expertise of Carol Lilly and Stephane Berwald at Lil Associates II, Inc. to begin developing a diversity and inclusion plan, creating reduced barrier packages, setting goals, and forming relationships. This also includes building a web portal to distribute project information and build a database of minority, women and small business firms. Ultimately, Crescent’s goal is to develop lasting and mutually beneficial relationships to help grow and strengthen the business community.
“I’ve spent 35 years promoting the utilization of minority, women and small businesses on commercial construction projects and have worked with many owners and businesses in Charlotte,” said Lilly, President and CEO of Lil. “What I’ve learned is that diversity and inclusion is intentional. You have to look at ways to make sure your workforce and suppliers reflect your community in race, gender and size. I see Crescent Communities becoming the leader in this space and setting the gold standard for how we do business in Charlotte.”
Crescent Communities will pilot this program in Charlotte and then look to replicate on additional future projects here and in other markets. For more information about Crescent’s MWSBE initiative and to sign up to be notified of opportunities with Crescent and our partners, visit