BUSINESS OBSERVERFRIDAY, JAN. 3, 2020 2 months ago

St. Pete development firm goes full force with B Corp movement

Socially responsible developer, a B Corp pioneer in Florida, breaks ground on another townhome project.
by: Business Observer Staff

The B Corp movement is a global effort to encourage for-profit businesses to balance purpose and profit, and no one in the Tampa Bay area has taken up the cause quite like Jared Meyers and his firm, St. Petersburg-based Salt Palm Development.

Salt Palm Development founder Jared Meyers, left, with St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman at the Dec. 12 groundbreaking for The Royal townhome building. Courtesy photo.

Accompanied by St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman, the company broke ground on its latest Sunshine City project, The Royal, on Dec. 12. At 545 4th Ave. S., the four-story building will feature 13 townhome residences — priced from the $500,000s to as much as $1.3 million — outfitted with the latest in smart-home and energy-saving technology, much like Salt Palm’s previous townhome development, The Sabal, which opened in April 2018, across from the street from The Royal site at 532 4th Ave. S.

The parcel was acquired from St. Petersburg dentist John Harrison for about $1.4 million, Meyers says.

Salt Palm, which attained B Corp status in 2017, is Florida’s first and only Certified B Corp developer, according to a news release, and has committed 1% of its revenues to environmental causes and at least 50% of its profits to the betterment of St. Petersburg and Florida.

Former C1 Bank CEO Trevor Burgess, left, and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman at the Dec. 12 groundbreaking for The Royal townhome building. Burgess is developing a restaurant and office space near The Royal. Courtesy photo.

Meyers points out B Corps don’t have to donate that much to social and environmental causes. His company does it by choice.

“I believe that as time goes by, our competitors will watch us succeed, and we want to share that we are succeeding because of our values, not despite them,” Meyers tells Coffee Talk. “I think a lot of businesses out there are looking for proof that [the B Corp movement] is not just a feel-good thing but that there’s actually a business justification. And I can tell them why there is, but they want to also see it in our sales numbers and the growth of the company.”