Published in Podcast

The MiBiz Podcast: MoTown Square

BY Friday, October 28, 2022 12:00pm

Maurice (Mo) Townsend appeared on “American Idol,” has directed worship choirs since he was a teenager, and serves as the real estate developer for MoTown Square, an affordable, senior housing project. To say that this is a passion project would be an understatement. Members of his family have resided in the neighborhood for decades, and Townsend started the project with some of his own parcels. Townsend caught up with the MiBiz Podcast to share his incredible journey and what advice he has for other young, aspiring developers.

How is directing a choir is similar to being a real estate developer:

Being a developer is first about networking and just maneuvering through and managing a variety of relationships, from the architects to property owners to your development team. Making sure that you’re caring for individuals and managing those relationships very well is the same muscle as working with worship teams, caring for the team, caring for their voices, and then really encouraging them to be leaders and step up to the plate.

The MoTown Square Development will rise on Hall Street between Cass and Lafayette. What is the significance of this affordable housing project to the area?

This area is very, very important to me. This is the community I grew up in, these are my stomping grounds. Some people come in and they do stuff and they make certain acts in this neighborhood, but they don’t live here. I know the people on these streets and they’re amazing. Some of the parcels of land belonged to either myself or family, and the development will support 54 units of affordable assisted living. Almost half of those units have Section 8 vouchers that are attached to them from the Grand Rapids Housing Commission and also Wyoming Housing Commission.

On working with LINC Up and his advice for other aspiring real estate developers:

I really praise Jeremy and Stephanie and the individuals over at LINC Up for just giving me a chance to give me a shot and walking me through this process. It was amazing.

Best advice to other aspiring developers?

Make sure that your pro forma is in check — that’s the first thing. You can’t build anything without making sure that the numbers work. If your numbers don’t work, then you really don’t have a project.

Read 164 times Last modified on Friday, 18 November 2022 12:19