Paul Quinn College in southern Dallas recently received $1.1 million to help revitalize the school and the surrounding Highland Hills neighborhood. The college got the financial boost from the Dallas Impact Investing Collaborative.
Tynesia Boyea-Robinson is an advisor for the collaborative. She’s also the Chief Impact Officer for Living Cities, a group of philanthropies and banks that invests in low-income neighborhoods. She joins KERA’s Justin Martin to talk about investing in southern Dallas.
Interview Highlights: Tynesia Boyea-Robinson
... on how the investment will be used: "So the money is going to be used to do a mixed-use development project in Highland Hills. And I think the thing we're really excited about is that it's a combination of retail and housing, but it's also very focused on children, having childcare, and also single mothers."
... on investing in Paul Quinn College and southern Dallas: "So Paul Quinn College particularly is interesting because Michael Sorrell as a leader has already done a lot of work, revitalizing the campus, changing the football field into a farm — which is crazy in Dallas — also investing in local education there for children, and trying to really to make sure that the college is a hub for the community."
... on addressing concerns about gentrification pricing residents out: "As the Dallas Impact Investing Collaborative, we created a side car investment, taking philanthropic capital and basically accepting a lower rate of return to insure we can invest in things that increase social impact."
... on why efforts to develop southern Dallas haven't worked in the past: "I don't think it's just southern Dallas. Living Cities is a national organization, and I think what we see across the country is that it's really expensive to invest in neighborhoods that haven't had a lot of development. Banks generally the way they work is they're trying to maintain risk. So, when you don't have any comparables in the area for investment it makes it more expensive to get capital."
... on what's different about the plan for Highland Hills: "So for Highland Hills if you think about it — Paul Quinn college is already an anchor, it already has a vibrant community of students, so that's already a built in piece of the environment. The housing complex is intentionally focusing on a third of the housing goes to students, a third of the housing goes to teacher, and a third of the housing goes to single parents."
Tynesia Boyea-Robinson is Chief Impact Officer for Living Cities and an advisor for the Dallas Impact Investing Collaborative.