Real estate developers are often criticized for not respecting the fabric of existing communities and for being too profit-driven. It is these issues, among others, that often lead to neighborhood groups and residents opposing new development, particularly when a project is being proposed by an out-of-town developer.
But one local developer hopes to change these notions by giving back to the community and encouraging other businesses to do the same. Salt Palm Development, located at 3446 1st Avenue North in St. Pete, was recently certified as the first B Corp real estate development company in the southeastern United States.
You might be asking yourself, “What is a B Corp?” Good question!
B Corps are certified for-profit companies that are required to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Think of it as a USDA Organic certification for businesses.
In being Florida’s first real estate development B Corp, Salt Palm hopes to spearhead initiatives that spread awareness about corporate responsibility—both globally and locally—through a new group they’re helping create called St. Pete for Good.
St. Pete for Good hopes to grow the B Corp movement and mentality – inspiring local investors and consumers to prioritize socially responsible business practices. As part of this charge, Salt Palm has pledged to give at least half of its profits toward community improvement endeavors such as beautification projects. They’ve even signed on to be the lead sponsor for this year’s SHINE Mural Festival.
In addition to being a B Corp, Salt Palm is also a member of 1% For The Planet and Conscious Capitalism Florida. 1% For The Planet is an organization of environmentally conscious businesses that encourages their members to give at least 1% of their sales to environmental causes while Conscious Capitalism Florida promotes ethical practices which “elevate humanity through business.”
Salt Palm’s first multi-unit development, Sabal Smart Homes, is located in Downtown St. Pete at 532 4th Avenue South. The project consists of two four-story buildings — each containing four units. The first phase of the project wrapped up construction earlier this month while construction on the second phase is currently underway.
Units at The Sabal are a cross between a townhouse and condo, with the building having two front units and two back units each with a private one-car garage in the rear of the building. With high-end finishes, high-efficiency features and a rooftop deck, the units have been selling well. So far, three of the four units in the first phase have sold and the units in phase two just hit the market.
As Salt Palm completes The Sabal project, it plans to embark on more developments in the area. Additionally, the company hopes its decision to become a certified B Corp catches on and helps lead toward more socially responsible real estate development throughout St. Pete.
For more details about Salt Palm Development and The Sabal, visit their websites. And if you’re interested, learn more about the Florida B Corp movement and local businesses “working for more than just profit” by visiting StPeteForGood.com.