News & Resources
BIA Celebrates Black History Month: Paul L. Badger, Jr.
Like many organizations in Philadelphia and around the country, the BIA has recognized the benefits of having a diverse membership and the need for more equity and inclusion. Several years ago, the Board of Directors amended our bylaws for the specific purpose of adding diversity to BIA’s governing body.
Last year, deep political discord and civil unrest highlighted inequities in the Black community and amplified the need for BIA to take action. We are grateful to have the candor and guidance of the Black members on the board to lead our efforts to foster equity and inclusion in the residential development and construction industry. We look to all of you to help us move this initiative forward over the coming months.
In celebration of Black History Month, our weekly feature on Black developers continues. This week, we are pleased to spotlight another BIA Board member, Paul Badger.
Paul L. Badger, Jr., The Badger Group, LLC
How did you get your start in real estate development?
My real estate career started shortly after I graduated from business school. I was working as a marketing director for Johnson & Johnson and began investing in real estate as a part-time venture. My mission was to improve our communities by supplying quality housing to deserving individuals in challenged neighborhoods. As my business grew, so did the demands on my time and effort. In 1996, I decided to follow my true passion, and The Badger Group was launched full time.
Which of your projects has meant the most to your career?
My current project at Broad and South Streets has meant the most to my career to date. It is a multi-phased, mixed-use project including residential, commercial, and entertainment components. Although in early design, the size and scope of the project are already providing exposure that will be an asset to other projects. In addition, it will offer a significant social component, which is something I strive to include in all my projects whenever possible.
What will it take for more Black developers to succeed in the real estate market?
Three primary things: access to deals, financial resources, and greater exposure to the industry. The most successful developers are those who have access to the best deals and the financial resources (debt/equity) to execute them. This often comes from long-term industry relationships which are sometimes multi-generational. Because Black developers have historically been underrepresented in our industry, they often lack the relationships and resources to be competitive. Early exposure to the industry and being afforded access to deals and capital are the keys to success.