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BIA Celebrates Black History Month: Herb J. Reid III

Since it was founded in 1937, the BIA has continuously adapted to meet the demands of a changing city and industry. In recent years, we recognized the need for private sector residential developers to concentrate on Philadelphia’s most persistent problems – poverty, homelessness, and displacement. And the extraordinary events of 2020 rightly focused our attention on the barriers to opportunity and access that exist for the Black community in real estate development.

With its power and reach, the BIA has the ability, as well as the responsibility to become a vehicle for change. Over the coming months, we will carry out a plan to address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the residential development and construction industry. We have an ambitious agenda and we look forward to working with all of you to make real progress.

We are pleased now to celebrate Black History Month with a weekly feature spotlighting Black developers in Philadelphia. First up is BIA Board Member Herb Reid.

Herb J. Reid III, Maze Group Development, Inc.

How did you get your start in real estate development?

While working in DC as a financial advisor, I often had Philadelphia clients by way of my father, a CPA and developer. One client was a developer that explained his business in a way that drew me into the process and compelled me back home to team up with my father and grow the family business.

Which of your projects has meant the most to your career?

I’ll always say whatever project we’re working on now, but that’s especially true of Dauphin House, our company's first Low-Income Housing Tax Credit project. These layered, multi-dimensional projects are not without their challenges to develop but their impact on the neighborhoods they inhabit make them very meaningful. We are excited to wrap up construction in the coming months and become home to local seniors in need of affordable housing that find themselves priced out of many areas of the city.

What will it take for more Black developers to succeed in the real estate market?

Mentorship and access to capital. This isn’t an industry where everyone is, necessarily, formally educated on the business. In many ways, it is more nuanced than what can be taught at a university. Speaking with and learning from successful developers can be the greatest education. Those same mentors will often have a network of lenders they can introduce others to as well.

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