Ujima Developers, LLC, is a community-centered social impact real estate development company with projects in Philadelphia and Baltimore. We believe that investing in People then Place will make Progress toward sustainable healthy communities. Ujima’s holistic equitable development approach identifies and leverages a community’s human capital as assets to stimulate economic mobility in under-invested communities.
All neighborhoods should evolve over time to meet the basic needs of residents if a city is to prosper. Data and observations indicate that this is not the case for many residents of cities and counties across the country. We envision partnering with communities to re-design and develop neighborhoods to transform equitably. Our strategies offer an alternative to gentrification. We believe all residents deserve opportunities to match their aspirations, live healthy and create intergenerational wealth.
We envision equitable and just neighborhoods where everyone has an opportunity to thrive.
To create vibrant, thriving communities by promoting economic mobility, health and wellness through socially impactful real estate developments that offer profitable investment opportunities.
We envision healthy mixed income intergenerational communities that facilitate acquiring basic needs, spark innovation and are sustained with intentional investments in People first, then Place to ultimately promote Progress toward an equitable and just society.
Ujima seeks to co-design neighborhoods to improve the quality of life of existing residents and create opportunities to attract new residents to build mixed income communities. We offer residential and commercial real estate investment opportunities. In addition, Ujima offers community-centered social impact consulting services for CDCs, non-profit organizations, and other developers who lack capacity to engage the community. We seek opportunities for intentionally impactful real estate development in Philadelphia and Baltimore neighborhoods with partners that share our values and mission driven strategies.
We integrate health/wellness as a catalyst to economic mobility for residents. Influenced by the research on intergenerational mobility, population health disparities and urban revitalization and STEM access; Ujima believes real estate development is a public health intervention. The placement of retail options, the type of housing options and the aesthetics of the neighborhood contribute to the opportunity structure of a community. Developers, as the framers of zip codes, have great influence on the life outcomes of residents. Research on intergenerational mobility by Raj Chetty and Nathanial Hendren reveals this point in the quote below:
“In recent years, Chetty’s groundbreaking research has shown just how much the ZIP code a child lives in can define his or her future. The longer a child lives in a neighborhood of opportunity—a racially integrated area with a large middle class, with stronger family structures, more social capital, and better schools—the more likely to they are to improve their standard of living as adults.”
In Philadelphia and other major cities exist the “Tale of Two Cities.” The research of national economist and demographers in several reports highlights the dismal outcomes of the children who grow up in economically poor, often segregated, cities and counties. While some research suggests that children and families move from these zip codes, Ujima believes that if we re-design the zip codes, we can change the outcomes of children and families living in poverty.
Our development concepts feature residential, commercial and mixed-use projects that invest in people first then place in order to sustain progress in communities. Below are sample features of Ujima’s Development Concepts.
Ujima Developers partners with community organizations, institutions, and government agencies to create, re-design and develop sustainable economically vibrant neighborhoods where diverse people of all ages thrive. We use a research-based approach to understand community assets, neighborhood history, public health indicators, market trends, city plans and financial outlooks. Our process includes economic, historical, health, financial and human capital assessments of a neighborhood. We then engage and leverage the assets of the community as partners in the re-design and development process.
Age-friendly multi-generational housing – Market-rate affordable housing designed with a primary residence and an age-in-place apartment dwelling to mitigate the cost of senior care for the “Sandwich” generation.
A redesign Makerspace model that places opportunities for advanced manufacturing workforce training, a place for production of ideas from concept to retail and finally, a space to nurture innovation.
Community building activities and partnerships to deliver programmatic activities to build healthy communities where families have opportunities to live optimally.