Big Developer Opens Offering to Small Investors in Old Town Alexandria Project - s11 ep61

Wall Street Capital Partners’ CEO Joel Miller Explains the Motivation for Raising Capital via Crowdfunding on Small Change Portal

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Devin: What is your superpower?

Joel: That's a loaded question, but my ability and desire to help the next generation, if you will, behind me and train them on what needs to be done to shorten the learning cycle toward their success.

Wall Street Capital Partners, a big real estate developer in Northern Virginia, is tackling a project in historic Old Town Alexandria. CEO Joel Miller joined me to discuss the project, including the unusual step of offering shares to small investors in the community.

The project is interesting on many levels, including the fact that the development will replace some surface parking where the project will be built with multi-use structures that include affordable housing, market-rate housing, retail and high-tech parking.

The project, six blocks from both the waterfront and the DC Metro, is conveniently located in a prime–read that expensive–location.

“We're having a percentage of units affordable, which is something people kept scratching their heads on and were blown away by, especially,” Joel says. “Folks in the city and other investors–they're like, ‘How are you going to do that?’ But we found a way to get it done.”

Rendering of a $48 million multi-use project in Old Town Alexandria, VA.Rendering of a $48 million multi-use project in Old Town Alexandria, VA.Rendering of a $48 million multi-use project in Old Town Alexandria, VA.
King Henry

The parking system uses automation to park the cars for tenants who use an app or fob to retrieve their vehicles, receiving them almost as if from a vending machine.

The $48 million project doesn’t require funding from the public or the local community, Joel says. Opening investment to the community is part of a strategy for allowing the community to participate directly in the economic benefits of the project. It also grows out of Joel’s superpower–mentoring. This decision gives rising developers an inside look at the business of real estate development.

To make the shares available, Joel is using Small Change, a FINRA-member regulated investment crowdfunding portal led by Eve Picker. “Eve is outstanding,” he says. “She's great to work with. She knows her stuff. She really gets the job done.”

AI Episode Summary

1. Devin Thorpe, the host, introduces Joel Miller, CEO and founder of Wall Street Capital Partners, during the "Superpowers for Good" show.

2. Wall Street Capital Partners is a development firm in the Northern Virginia area, originally branching out from its sister company, Wall Street Capital Advisors.

3. The company has a history of providing debt and equity for various commercial projects, including office, multifamily, and retail, and is now also engaged in development.

4. They are working on a unique project called Old King Henry in Alexandria, Virginia—a historic district with limited supply and affordability issues where development is challenging due to restrictions.

5. The Old King Henry project involves redeveloping surface parking into multifamily housing over retail, located conveniently near the waterfront and metro.

6. The project provides a percentage of affordable housing units, which is unusual and challenging to achieve in Old Town Alexandria but was important to the developers.

7. A mechanical parking system is utilized in the project, which allows for efficiency by reducing the need for deep underground or large above-ground parking structures. Cars are parked and retrieved by the system, reducing space requirements.

8. Part of the project includes townhomes with private balconies, and Joel emphasizes the opportunity for minority visibility in the retail spaces.

9. Joel's partner has an extensive background, having developed over 15,000 units of multifamily housing, with the Lumen in Tysons Corner being a notable example of past successful projects.

10. The capital raise for Old King Henry through the platform Small Change is highlighted, demonstrating Joel's commitment to community involvement and allowing people to invest in the project for as little as $1,000.

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How to Develop Mentoring As a Superpower

Helping the next generation of real estate professionals is a genuine passion for Joel. One of the ways he does this is with his podcast, Mornings with Joel. He shared the story of the podcast came to be:

I was the capital markets instructor for an organization called REAP–this is an organization that exposes minorities and others to the basics of commercial real estate and all the different paths that they could take as it relates to generating their wealth. 

One of the questions that always came up was, “I want to learn more. I want to talk more. But we often get these CEOs that come to talk to us and I can never reach them after the event. So, is there any way we can reach you after the event?”

And so what we started doing was we started having our staff meetings and letting those people listen in on the staff meetings where they can, in essence, look over our shoulder and see on a regular day-to-day basis how we get deals done, how do we structure, what are the challenges, what's this, what's that, how do we price them and how do we do all those things. And then that grew to, well, I'm not just interested in capital markets, I'm interested in this [other topic].

It was like, “Do you know anybody that does XYZ?” It was like, “Yeah, I do. So why don't I invite that person to our staff meeting and you could call in and listen to our conversation?” 

It grew to the point where it was like, “Wait a minute, that's a podcast!” People wanting to see and learn from others. So, we opened up our Rolodex, and we said, “Hey, I know slews of people in top-level positions in commercial real estate. Why don't I do a show with them? No charge, no fee, no nothing. Just let people come and learn from the masters in commercial real estate.”

So we started doing that. It's been very successful–the Mornings with Joel podcast. We did that specifically to help people, the next generation behind us, really learn what it's all about to get into this commercial real estate space.

He describes his decision to open this round of funding on the project to his passion for helping the next generation. 

“We wanted to be able to work with people in the community, other minorities that are trying to get started in the commercial real estate space and give a hand back and say, ‘Hey, if you got a thousand bucks, you can get in this deal, look over our shoulder and see how it all works from the inside out and learn that business,’” he says.

You can develop your mentoring ability by following Joel’s example. With practice, you can make it a superpower that enables you to do more good in the world.

Remember, however, that research into success suggests that building on your own superpowers is more important than creating new ones or overcoming weaknesses. You do you!

Guest Profile

Guest-Provided Profile

Joel Miller  (he/him):

CEO / Managing Partner, Wall Street Capital Partners

About Wall Street Capital Partners: Wall Street Capital Partners is a Real Estate Developer, Investor, and Syndicator and lender of Debt and Equity for the Commercial Real Estate markets. 

Website: wallstreetcapitalpartners.net

X/Twitter Handle: @WallStCapital

Other URL: smallchange.co/projects/the-King-Henry

Biographical Information: Joel Miller serves as CEO of Wall Street Capital Partners (Advisors), a Real Estate Syndication firm based out of Atlanta, GA, which specializes in sourcing and arranging debt and equity for acquisitions, development and recapitalization of Commercial Real Estate. The firm also invests in its own acquisition and development projects as a GP investor. The current pipeline includes over 1,100 Multifamily units, primarily in Atlanta and the mid-Atlantic region.
Joel Miller has also been responsible for the intrinsic planning of site development for the execution of conservation strategies. He formerly served as head of Private Equity Fund Management & Investor relations related to Real Estate tax mitigation strategies for
Cambridge Capital Partners (CCP). A boutique international investment bank focused on tax mitigation, capital markets, conservation easement strategies, and management advisory services. CCP was built on a platform of delivering tax efficiency with global business solutions. CCP’s clients include numerous banks, investors, and Fortune 500 companies throughout the Americas and Europe.
Mr. Miller began his career in New York City at U.S. Trust Co. After strengthening his acumen under some of Wall Street’s most influential financial strategists, he founded what would become Wall Street Capital Funding. Under the tutelage of Prudential Securities
executives, at 28, he became one of the youngest CEO mortgage bankers in the history of the United States. The firm was ranked as one of the Top 10 Most Dependable Mortgage Companies in the SE.
Mr. Miller has served as strategic adviser to one of the nation's top ten wholesale mortgage banks and has served as a consultant on financial institution mergers. He has served as an adjunct Professor of Economics at the Clayton State University - Management School of Business. In late 2008, he received the privilege of being a tertiary adviser to President Barack Obama's Transition Team on the topics of housing & the economy related to the residential Real Estate crisis of 2008. The Atlanta Business Journal named Mr. Miller one of the Top 40 under 40. He was also the host and producer of the "Mortgage Minute" and "The Joel
Miller Show" on Business Radio 1160AM The CFO, as well as a regular contributor to CNBC.
Currently, he also produces and hosts the Mornings w/ Joel Commercial Real Estate Podcast, which interviews and highlights the achievements of minorities in the CRE space.
He also teaches the Capital Markets class for Project REAP. This fulfilled a commitment he made to stay accessible and to open his "Rolodex" to expose and encourage
the next generation of CRE minorities to opportunities in the CRE space.
Joel lives in Atlanta, has been married over 30 years, and has two sons. He enjoys worldwide travel, swimming and spending his free time researching and sampling fine wines for his

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/joelamiller/

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Superpowers for Good
Superpowers for Good: Empowering Changemakers for Social Impact via Regulated Investment Crowdfunding from the SuperCrowd.
We host changemakers who are using regulated investment crowdfunding for social impact--impact crowdfunding--as impact investors or social entrepreneurs, catalyzing change with leadership skills we call superpowers.