Reclaiming the past to build communities for the future

Good Neighbors

Posted September 11, 2013 by Rick Dover

Did you know that renovation creates more jobs than new construction? It’s one of the many reasons I love what I do. When we renovate a building, we aren’t spending the lion’s share of our budget on new bricks and drywall—we’re hiring construction workers, landscapers, equipment operators, and technical experts to help with the finer points of retrofitting and rehabilitation. We also need local vendors: plant nurseries, furniture stores, and hardware stores.

This has a real effect on the local economy. Restoring faded buildings makes the neighborhood more beautiful, yes, but it also creates jobs that can’t be outsourced, improves property values, and encourages new investment in areas that may have become depressed or shabby.

I believe in neighborhoods, pure and simple. Besides the big-name projects we take on at Family Pride, we also acquire and renovate single-family homes in the neighborhoods we work in and resell them at an affordable price. When you see the ripple effect all this activity creates, it’s pretty exciting.

Of course, I also think that thoughtfully created senior housing makes a meaningful contribution to any neighborhood. It brings healthcare jobs. It improves the landscape. It actually adds good neighbors, because the residents of these facilities tend to be folks who care about their surroundings and are looking for a sense of community.

Typically, after we’ve started reconstruction work in an old neighborhood, we notice little things here and there: a crumbling driveway gets repaired, young couples show up in the evenings to walk their dogs, hanging baskets of flowers pop up on porches. We know change is happening and that we’re part of it. Believe me—I’ve done all kinds of construction work, and there is nothing more satisfying than neighborhood rehabilitation. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.