Tell us about your organization: We’re a non-profit real estate development company. We work within the city to revitalize neighborhoods being one of the first groups to invest in it. We buy land and build whatever we think that will meet both the needs of the neighborhood and the current market.
How do you work with banks: As you can imagine, we’ve always struggled to find a bank that truly understands and supports our work. There’s a lot of risk. We’re the first one in the market, there are no comparables and there’s no guarantee that the community will grow around our project.
We were working with another local bank but they always required such large down payments that it ate up a lot of our capital.
Why LSB: They’re a small town bank with ethics and principles that align with our organization. They seem to really get what we are trying to do and they genuinely want to be a part of it. I had always received boilerplate proposals from other banks, the same terms from everyone. And then LSB comes along actually works to find a creative way to make it work for us.
They really believe in investing in our community and in their partners. They take the time to actually get to know their customers so there’s a trust there.
Together, we turned a million dollars worth of funding into $7 million dollars of projects.
Do you still shop other banks: As part of our due diligence, we talk to other banks, but it has just turned out that no one else was able to match the terms or partner in the way LSB would. Other bankers, when they hear that we’re working with LSB, say, “Oh, we can’t touch what they’re willing to do.”
How do you work with LSB? The whole relationship is more personal. They actually behave the way other banks promise but never deliver on. I pick up the phone and call and they always make themselves available to get together so they can help us figure out a way to fund the next project.
What are you working on now? For Des Moines – there is now redevelopment we are working on south of downtown. We’re bringing the market south of the river with our most recent developments and those we have planned for the near future. These efforts in improving the border of Des Moines’ core is good for our entire community.