STEWA RDS H IP
S T EWA RDS H IP
AT C R E S C E N T
It has only been a year since we published our first Statement of Stewardship. However, in that short period of time, we have learned a tremendous amount. We further understand both the challenges and the opportunities that exist for us to become a true leader in stewardship. We humbly appreciate the recognition that our new stewardship framework, and the work done within it, has received. But we also fully acknowledge that this is just the beginning. This year we were able to apply our stewardship methodology to its first full project integration, and we look forward to sharing even more on how that is rolling out in forthcoming communications. We are in the process of implementing a fully-automated (and, we like to think, groundbreaking) stewardship metric system to be introduced in January 2017. This system will more directly measure our progress in our five pillars – in ways that will clearly inform our design processes and honestly provide feedback on our existing communities. The research isn’t in a “shareable” form quite yet, but this year’s stewardship gives us the chance to open up the Crescent doors even wider. Over the past 12 months, our stewardship framework has enabled candid, sometimes-difficult and always-invigorating dialogue about our processes and operations. And with those conversations, we have developed new partnerships and elevated practices to further live up to the promises we have made. Some of these developments are reflected in this document; but more importantly, this report is intended to extend our commitment to transparency. As such, included data will continue to reflect the dynamic nature of our long-game stewardship efforts – steps forward, steps back, triumphs and challenges. One year to another, we might see our Walk Scores decrease in a certain category, while concurrently see our philanthropic initiatives be named a CSR finalist for Social Responsibility by National Real Estate Investor. Like any journey worth taking, it is not easy, nor are we perfect. However, along the way, we are encouraging everyone to join in our goal of creating new and better models for development that center first and foremost on people.
TODD W. MANSFIELD
SHIP PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER CRESCENT COMMUNITIES
D I R E C TO R O F S T E WA R D S H I P A N D I N N OVAT I O N CRESCENT COMMUNITIES
B U I LD
BET T E R
P E O P L E â€™ S
L IVE S .
Are you seeing what weâ€™re seeing? Look over there. That tree, that child, that riverbank, that blanket on the park bench, that painting, that empty building, that neighborhood. Do you see the promise? The potential? The dreams? Because when we view the world through the lens of Stewardship, everything looks different. Visions that inspire us to challenge the status quo in the interest of Bettering Peopleâ€™s Lives. We see opportunities to serve as ambassadors of the Earth, connectors of our fellow citizens, advocates of their health, proponents of their happiness, and champions of their longevity. And this changes everything about development and the processes behind it. What do you see?
P I L L A R S O F S T E WA R D S H I P
1. ENVIRONMENT 2 . C O MMUNITY 3 . HEALTH 4 . HAPPINESS 5 . LO NGEVITY
Weâ€™re a different kind of developer. We operate in a way that you might not expect. Exhibit A: our Five Pillars of Stewardship, representing our absolute passions and priorities in building inspired, enduring communities. We have a responsibility to be stewards of this planet, our people and our money. We hold fast to these values as we work, and we are working hard to measure our progress as we strive for these ideals. As stewards of the Environment, we acknowledge and value our interdependent relationship with nature. We need her resources in order to build and provide with integrity; and she needs our promise of sensible use, steadfast protection and generous replenishment. As stewards of Community, we dedicate ourselves to that increasingly endangered species called true human connection. Creating places and spaces that encourage such experiences will promote the proliferation of diverse ideas, ideals and coexistence defined by respect and care. As stewards of Health, we aspire to create a culture of abundant and nourishing choices, one in which wellness is both encouraged and effortlessly ushered to us at home, and work and at play. As stewards of Happiness, we actively seek and celebrate opportunities to deliver joy, elicit smiles, and harness the bliss that comes with feeling secure, protected and free. Because while we may not know the secret of life, we have a hunch the answer resides somewhere in there. And as stewards of Longevity, we pledge to design and build in a way that prioritizes the long-term thriving of our communities, their people, and the surrounding natural world that embraces them. Welcome to The Crescent Way. Have a look around. You might be surprised.
FOR CONSISTENCY, DATA FOR THIS REPORT WAS TAKEN FROM AVAILABLE 2015 INFORMATION.
The parent-child relationship is exceptionally powerful. One party provides nourishment, knowledge and beauty. And as the parent ages, the other party must return the favor by providing love, advocacy and protection. Thus is the symbiotic bond between nature and humanity. When we use precious resources, it is our duty to do so sparingly and to replenish them. When we paint on the Earth’s canvas, we must endeavor to be additive to its innate beauty, and then clean up after ourselves when we’re done. At Crescent, we’re looking for the teachable moments in the unexpected places. And to us, the environment is the ultimate classroom – a domain where we can continue perfecting our role as a responsible and ethical partner, and model such stewardship for future generations.
GREEN IS GOLD
One of the ways Crescent Communities lives out our Environmental Stewardship is in our commitment to â€œgoing greenâ€? with our projects. By dedicating ourselves to the standards of green certification (and then subsequently achieving those distinctions), we hold true to our values and own our responsibility in curbing environmental impact. Our multifamily properties have gotten the big green-thumbs-up from LEEDTM, FGBCTM and NGBSTM, as well as a rare certification from Audubon International. Hence, the number of Crescent residents living in green homes has increased over 2000% since 2014.
M U LT I FA M I LY U N I T S C E R T I F I E D ( 2 0 1 5 ) :
S I N G L E FA M I LY G R E E N H O M E S C E R T I F I E D ( 2 0 1 5 ) :
61 P E O P L E N OW L I V I N G I N A G R E E N H O M E ( 2 0 1 5 ) :
MULTIFAMILY SINGLE FAMILY
A CLASSROOM IN THE WOODS? GO BEHIND THE SCENES OF THIS PHOTO SHOOT AT CRESCENTCOMMUNITIES.COM/ENVIRONMENT/
EN VIRONMENT THE RIVER DISTRICT
This isn’t your typical legacy project. The only legacies that truly last are the ones carried out in respectful partnership with Mother Nature. So if you want to make history, start by pledging your allegiance to her. And she’ll be calling the shots on our most ambitious commercial / mixed-use venture to date. These 1,300 acres – one of the largest tract of undeveloped land in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area – represent an opportunity to put everything we believe to the test. We started by identifying the most environmentally-sensitive 552 acres (over 42%) to be preserved or used as open space. Can development done “The Crescent Way” leave a river cleaner than it was before? Can it actually improve the ecological soundness of a place? Can it entrust nature’s unaltered beauty to set the stage for authentic community connection? We declare, “Yes.” But for the unexpected to happen, a project must be willing to relinquish control to an unorthodox master in the development industry: the land, itself. What happens when you allow a community to naturally emerge in response to its environment? When waterways and trail systems are empowered to determine all else? When you build an environmentally-focused school and a working urban farm into a property? When you intentionally preserve over 552 acres before you even touch the ground? You get magical paths and walkways with true connectivity and purpose. You get the first public waterfront park in the county, with all riverfront land left untouched. You get a place that attracts, serves and celebrates a region’s diverse cultural and socioeconomic spectrum – and moving forward, can actually address the community’s evolving needs. You get the soul of the city, in the heart of nature. What happens when you redefine what development looks like? Let’s watch together. Because this isn’t our legacy project. It’s hers. The River’s.
E N VI RO N M ENT TREE FOR A KEY
When respected and protected, urban tree canopies demonstrate an impressive and tireless work ethic. They operate in beautiful partnership with humans and the cities we call home – providing us shade, oxygen, storm water filtration, protection from wind and noise, reduced energy consumption, increased home values, and an offsetting of carbon emissions. They also provide food and shelter for the wildlife with which we share this one precious Earth. So what’s our part in this special relationship? And how can we be inspired by the dedicated model of partnership that the trees show us? With our Tree for a Key pilot program, we’re emulating the true meaning of partnership by forging dedicated, ongoing alliances with pro-tree nonprofits. In its current form, for every apartment lease signed, Crescent Communities donates a tree to be planted – which helps organizations like TreesCharlotte expand their city’s tree canopy 50% or more by 2050. And we’re extending our environmental stewardship beyond our employees by giving residents the opportunity to learn about the value of a thriving tree canopy and to participate in this important initiative in partnership with us. After 172 plantings in 2015, we planted 296 trees in Dilworth in 2016! In the meantime, you can track progress and receive updates at www.treeforakey.com. And you can take a deep breath -- thanks to the trees.
W H E N L A R R Y M E T LO U I E
As project engineer at our Oakland Park property in Orlando, Louis Giordano takes pristine care of the land, buildings and people of that community. And while he wears many hats, he never thought he’d don a beekeeper’s hat. Nevertheless, when he made Larry Birdman’s acquaintance and learned of his need to store 150 bee hives through the winter months, Louie knew of a perfect place within the expansive orange grove that Crescent had preserved. Soon, he was getting beekeeping lessons. And now, beyond his reputation for helping Oakland Park residents care for their community gardens, he’s also watching over thousands of bees in their new wintertime haven. “They’re not our hives,” Louie says, “but when they’re on our property, I feel a sense of ownership.” And the residents love the free honey he hands out, too.
COMMUNI Throughout human existence, we’ve been hard-wired in our DNA to congregate for strength, support and joy. To live together, to dream together, and to strive for our ideals together. But today, true human connection is losing ground. Bound by a chaotic stream of binary code, we’re briefed on each other’s political opinions and family vacations, but we’re sidestepping our need to bond in real life. Crescent is passionate about activating communities in a way that promotes meaningful interactions, and about creating places that make people want to unplug and connect. Often, that means surprising with delight. Other times, it means creating spaces for candid conversation and sharing. Whatever forms they take, each ensuing hello, handshake and hug is helping to weave a tapestry truly illustrative of our diversity – and our ideals.
R I P P L E S O F T H E S KY L I N E
When we committed to listening to what the community needed, we never imagined the “ripple effect” that would occur as a result. Considering the number of artists supported, artistic works created, businesses that got involved, and eventual touch points throughout the city of Charlotte, you can understand why The Little Building That Could holds a special place in our heart.
18,000+ REACH ON SOCIAL MEDIA 26 MEDIA FEATURES 3,400 IN ATTENDANCE 14 SPONSORS SKYLINE EVENT: FILM
GOODYEAR BUILDING SKYLINE EVENT: ART SKYLINE ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE
SKYLINE EVENT: FOOD
32 VISITING ARTISTS
CHERRY PIE Feminist Art Show at Union Shop Studio 33 RESIDENT ARTISTS 100 NEW WORKS OF ART 55 PERFORMANCES
CHROMA Warehouse-based contemporary art exhibit by Arthur Brothers
80X80 Inaugural art show by the young affiliates of the Mint at the Mint Museum Uptown
GOODYEAR ARTS Skyline Artist in residence enters a new era with evolved residency program, new name & space, and expanded sponsors. Crescent renews support as Founding Sponsor.
CELLPHONES ABANDONED IN THE STREET? GO BEHIND THE SCENES OF THIS PHOTO SHOOT AT CRESCENTCOMMUNITIES.COM/COMMUNITY/
COMMUNITY PA S S I O N S + PA R T N E R S H I P S = P H I L A N T H R O P Y
We’ve tried the other way. We made the 200 sandwiches; we delivered them; we felt the satisfaction; and then we went back to work. No doubt this way is important and needed in the world, but the personal impact felt fleeting. And then we tried it our way – taking the day off to go to Urban Ministries, sitting down with residents and spending real time together. Bingo and board games. Stories about hopes and dreams and lives lived. Moments of authentic connection. That’s when our employees felt the shift. Suddenly, they wanted more. They wanted to give more, and they wanted to get more personally involved in the fight to eradicate homelessness. CUT TO: a pegged needle on the Social Good Meter. Crescent’s one-of-a-kind, partnership-based giving strategy is redefining corporate philanthropy as we know it (and even received an award nod from Suddenly, they wanted more. They wanted to give more, and they wanted to get more personally involved in the fight to eradicate homelessness). Within three thoughtfully identified and integrated impact areas – Education, Shelter and Environment – we are stimulating a culture of passionate, across-the-board engagement that enables true change in our communities on issues such as affordable housing, chronic homelessness, and more Suddenly, they wanted more. They wanted to give more, and they wanted to get more personally involved in the fight to eradicate homelessness. Our aim is to give our children the tools they’ll need to keep their communities thriving for generations to come; to chisel innovative approaches to actualizing every human’s right to having a home; and to approach each development project as an opportunity to materialize a net gain for our environment. To date our financial focus has emerged as 20% on Environment, 10% on Shelter, and 14% on Education. There’s nothing wrong with making sandwiches or stroking checks. The world needs that. But Crescent employees have big skill sets and even bigger hearts. We believe our charitable efforts are so impactful because they include three key ingredients: donations of money, physical volunteering by skilled Crescent employees, and a clear giving program that ties it all together. Aim that energy squarely at your philanthropic passions, do it through a spirit of creative partnership, and watch your communities grow. Our employees’ hearts certainly did, in unexpected ways.
C O MMU N I TY S KY L I N E T R A N S F O R M AT I O N
Like great cities and communities, great ideas should evolve as they grow. Case in point: our SKYLINE initiative. It started as a periodical – a piece created to deepen our connection with and understanding of the grassroots movers and shakers shaping the creative landscape within Crescent markets. Through those meaningful conversations came another idea: to evolve the magazine into a live event. The popular Skyline Series garnered 380 attendees over three themed events (art, food and film), and allowed open conversations to occur – opportunities for us to learn, to get authentic feedback, to be “active listeners” and to then answer thoughtfully to a community’s true needs and desires. We heard genuine appeals. Bell-clear declarations such as, “Artists need access to space.” And so we responded, teaming up with local artists to launch a groundbreaking Artists in Residence program housed in one of our uptown Charlotte properties. Hundreds of new works and thousands of attendees later, even that has further morphed into what is now a sustained artists program supported by Crescent – ensuring that we remain authentic and true in our ongoing commitment to local artists. The subsequent Skyline events sparked exciting new relationships and engagements with local chefs, restaurateurs, actors, directors, producers and other artists – and more importantly, opened up dialogue about the specific needs of their sectors. Call them exhibitions. Call them tastings. Call them screenings. Even call them cool events. We call them occasions. Occasions to connect, to learn, to serve, and to fill a community’s voids through our work.
TIME OUT TO PITC H IN
Unless you’ve experienced it yourself, it’s hard to describe the powerful feeling when a team picks up the framework of a new house in unison and watches the walls come together. It’s the first glimpse of a family’s new home. A place where children will grow and memories will be made. We felt it during our 2015 partnership day with Habitat For Humanity, part of our inaugural Crescent Cares Day. While some of us were sawing and hammering, others were working at one of their ReStore locations, introducing a Shab-to-Fab refinishing project, or building awareness through our Habitat “social media takeover.” Like house walls coming together, these are company-wide days in which we truly witness the framework of our partnership-based philanthropy model coming to life. So whether it’s think tank days with Urban Ministry, shaping futures with ACE Mentor, or digging and planting with TreesCharlotte, it’s always amazing to see what can be accomplished when we do it together.
Empowering healthy lifestyles is all about creating and enabling choices. Ideally, those choices show up as pleasant surprises in your life. We want to lead by example, and so we’re intentional about living out this belief within the Crescent employee family. Only then can we design a similarly powerful “culture of choice” for the communities we build and the families we serve. Turns out, when you provide unexpected wellness options, an abundance of energy and joy quickly follows.
WA L K S O F L I F E
One of the keys to a happier, healthier and more sustainable lifestyle is the walkability of your community – measured by something called a “Walk Score” on a scale of 1 to 100. Are you within striking distance of restaurants, stores, public transit and other amenities? Great – you likely have a high Walk Score! Pull in more granular data like population density, street connectivity, block length and intersection density, and you can even determine Walk Scores by neighborhood. When Crescent creates a new community, or further enhances an existing one, this ranking is always top of mind.
2 0 1 5 AV E R AG E WA L K S C O R E S O F C R E S C E N T P R O P E R T I E S
COMMERCIAL / MIXED USE
A VENDING MACHINE STOCKED WITH FRUITS AND VEGGIES? GO BEHIND THE SCENES OF THIS PHOTO SHOOT AT CRESCENTCOMMUNITIES.COM/HEALTH/
HEALTH R I D E , C H A R LO T T E , R I D E
We have always believed that transportation is a fundamental component of good development. So when we saw an opportunity to play an unexpected role in building public transportation options in Charlotte, we dove in feet first…and pedaling. Crescent became the first private developer to fully fund a Charlotte B-cycle station. As one of the largest urban bike sharing systems in the Southeast, the chance to contribute to this vital urban amenity was a no-brainer for us, but it certainly raised a few eyebrows in the press. Why would a private company take on a concern that is usually shouldered on the city? Because it’s perfectly aligned with our stewardship priorities – and it just makes sense for the community. After all, our Dilworth project was positioned amidst vibrant neighborhoods, a greenway, hospitals and much more. What better place to act on our desire to create communities where walking and biking is made safe and easy. We see the local community as an amenity, and we take seriously our role in facilitating physical connection to it. It’s one thing to break ground. It’s quite another thing to activate people on the ground. When you achieve that, magic starts to happen. People begin to connect, get healthy, patronize businesses and utilize amenities. In short, they start living a life of activity, fun and togetherness. That’s why we’re proud to have funded one of the city’s 24 stations thus far, bringing total bikes in the system to 200.
HE A LTH O F F T H E B E AT E N PAT H
In Houston, no one’s betting on the trees. But we did. While envisioning The Groves through our collaborative CANVAS process, a clear set of principles were established to which we practiced absolute fidelity throughout each step of the community’s planning and execution. The lynchpin concept – “Life in the Woods” – became our very mantra, and guided every decision. This resulted in 200 acres of dedicated common area, including amenity centers, parks, forested reserves, and community open space. The crowning achievement? An extensive trail network integrated into the natural environment. By prioritizing the time and effort needed to preserve countless trees and allow paths to emerge organically, a unique living experience became possible – one in which Mother Nature is, herself, the most valuable amenity. Health, serenity and simplicity become the norm within such a haven. And perhaps for the first time in their lives, residents find themselves transforming into casual meanderers, thoughtful observers, and engaged neighbors. The trails, themselves, foster a culture of wellness and connectedness. People want to be on them – and study after study has proven that being outside makes exercise easier, increases brain function, spurs weight loss, amps up our Vitamin D, reduces our stress and boosts our mood. So go ahead and explore – it’s good for you! That beautiful blue sidewalk that caught your eye? That’s a river, running through the natural splash pad, as you spiral your way around towering trees and enjoy the soothing sound of decomposed granite beneath your shoes. When you combine the sheer genius of nature with The Crescent Way, you set the stage for a diversity of joy-inducing, health-enhancing microenvironments, for unplanned interactions and inspired experiences, and for a lifetime of family memories reflected on the water’s surface. Turns out, life in the woods is pretty good…for you.
H E A LT H S TA R T S F R O M W I T H I N
At a recent company-wide meeting, all of our employees received a solid (and unexpected) piece of swag: a Fitbit. Suddenly, steps competitions were breaking out in every Crescent office. Now doubt many of those steps involved trips to our Healthy Vending Machine in one of the Crescent break rooms. The cost? Free. As are our wellness lunch-andlearns by certified dieticians. And the local organic fruit dispersed throughout departments for the taking. And really, what could be better than “free wellness?” How about a monthly stipend to use toward your preferred wellness activities and gym memberships? Indeed, all of this and more is a part of Crescent’s unique culture of health. Because just like our bodies, a community-building company like ours needs to be healthy from the inside out.
What makes us smile? Punchlines and plot twists? Flash mobs and Jacks-in-theBoxes? Of course! Turns out, the things that bring us pure happiness often share one or more similar ingredients: surprising discoveries, trumped expectations, and shifts in perception. But we’re less concerned with The Science of Happiness, and more interested in infusing our company, projects, communities and lives with as many joy-inducing elements as possible. In fact, Happiness is at the heart of everything we do; we dare say, it’s a key part of Crescent’s building process. It’s the only tool we know to defy physics. And where you find Happiness reigning supreme, you’ll also find humans living authentic lives – ones in which full self-expression is celebrated, dreams are boldly pursued, and our imagination dictates what’s truly possible.
SHARING IS CARING
Would you set a friend up on date if you didn’t feel really good about the potential match? Of course not! Similarly, choosing a place to call “home” is a huge decision – so if you’re encouraging others to move there, too, that’s a pretty good sign that you love where you live. It’s this pervasive love of community that we see growing at Crescent properties across the country, and it’s leading to an increasing number of referrals from current residents. Hey, the more people adopting our mantra of “Bettering People’s Lives,” the better.
% O F S I N G L E FA M I LY R E F E R R A L S F R O M C U R R E N T C R E S C E N T R E S I D E N T S
% O F M U LT I FA M I LY R E F E R R A L S -TO - L E A S E S F R O M C U R R E N T C R E S C E N T R E S I D E N T S
% O F E M P LOY E E R E F E R R A L S F R O M C U R R E N T C R E S C E N T E M P LOY E E S
BUILDING WITH BALLOONS INSTEAD OF CRANES? GO BEHIND THE SCENES OF THIS PHOTO SHOOT AT CRESCENTCOMMUNITIES.COM/HAPPINESS/
HA PPINESS K I D S T H E S E DAYS
Redefining development isn’t child’s play. Or is it? Actually, at Crescent, it’s all about the children. When you’re in the business of creating inspired communities for families throughout United States, there’s no replacement for approaching your work through a youthful lens. You need to embody a love of magic and a penchant for wonder. You need to wear fun and playfulness on your sleeve. You need to bring deep curiosity and a belief in the impossible to the projects of the day. That’s why we look forward to “Bring Your Kids to Work Day,” our annual celebration of the little friends in our lives. And at Crescent, that age group abounds, as our workforce boasts an increasing number of young families. These amazing parents/grandparents/aunts/uncles/etc. just so happen to double as some of the leading minds in real estate development. Stop by any of our BYKTW Days and you just might think you’ve stumbled upon a scene of pre-pubescent mutiny. Or perhaps a Peter Pan casting call. After all, when you have 20 (in 2014), 30 (in 2015) or 40 (in 2016) kids descending upon your office, sometimes you wonder who’s really in charge. Regardless, it’s a festive day wherein our children get to see the work we do…and we get to see our own work through a child’s eyes. It’s a priceless perspective. All the singing, dancing, art, games and hard hat tours are just gravy. Turns out, interesting things happen when you bring your kids to work. An elevated pride in what you’re doing. A powerful reminder of why we’re doing it. And a feeling of true integration and comradery with your teammates. We’re all a part of the growing Crescent family. (And it really doesn’t take too long to refill all the staplers.) All kidding aside, they are special days brimming with unadulterated joy.
HA PP I N E S S A NONTRADITIONAL TRADITION
How many of us have been on the receiving end of those standard corporate holiday cards? The ones with the generic, Successories-esque seasonal greeting surrounded by a chaotic mess of employee signatures. Warms the heart, right? Because we prioritize Happiness as a pillar of stewardship, we see The Season of Giving as another opportunity to spread cheer in unexpected ways. Hence, the Crescent Holiday Video Card was born. We created the cards to say “thank you” to external constituents and internal employees alike. But these were definitely not your father’s holly-laden season’s greetings. Kinda perfect for Crescent. The first year, we shot an elaborate video featuring Crescent employees performing a holiday jingle. Oh, and we coded it so you could play your own song on your computer keyboard! The next year, we actually commissioned a musician to create our own new holiday song...and then filmed our employees singing it. And for the card’s third incarnation, we produced a video of employees in all of our markets unrolling one super-long string of colorful tree lights spanning many states. This concept doubled as an opportunity to feature a wide variety of Crescent people, properties and projects on a national level – and tripled as a chance to literally connect our teams. In fact, 79 employees have appeared in the videos so far. At its essence, the cards – and whatever holiday antics we cook up going forward – are further evidence of our company doing business as unusual. Placing supreme value on interaction, fun and authenticity…on using creativity as a tool for inclusion and a raw material for building company culture…and on cultivating trust, equality and empowerment. You can’t force culture to happen. But you can enable creative opportunities for people to do it themselves. Happy spaces for them to be themselves. There’s magic in there.
P O P P I N G . LO C K I N G . C O N N E C T I N G .
Despite being established over a half-century ago, we still boast the wonder-driven mindset of a startup. We bring a similar “experiment and pivot” approach to our interest in public space activation, which is why we jumped at the chance to partner with Open Streets 704 in encouraging Charlotte residents to take to the streets and experience a city without cars. By setting up a dedicated breakdancing area – replete with cardboard and a vintage boom box – people showed off their best backspins and robots while we jammed on other “lighter-cheaperquicker” community engagement ideas. Yeah, just call us the Alfonso Ribeiro of real estate developers.
LONGEVIT We love designing properties with elements that conspire to promote the longevity of its residents. And when we commit to the longevity of people – the building blocks of community – we’re helping to ensure the sustainability of the community, itself. But one thing is certain: the “good genes” needed for longevity must be engineered in from Day Zero. Crucial amino acids such as flexibility and adaptation, partnership and collaboration, empathy and vision. In an industry in which success is too often measured by the yardsticks of time and budget, we buck the trend by investing significant time into building neighborhood relationships, listening and learning, involving and teaching. When your priorities start there, you also set the stage for a sustainable community that will create incremental value over time. It’s a firm commitment to the long game…while having fun in the here-and-now.
S TAY I N G P OW E R
According to recent data from the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median number of years that workers have been with their current employer is 4.6 years. (BTW, Crescent’s current average is 6.5 years.) A new study conducted by LinkedIn found that Millennials will have an average of four jobs by the time they’re 32. Now that job-hopping is the new normal, we look at our own employment statistics with a new critical eye. In particular, data points such as our workforce age diversity and employee tenure are important indicators of the kind of longevity that we’re fostering from within.
AG E D I V E R S I T Y O F C R E S C E N T E M P LOY E E S GENERATION
C R E S C E N T E M P LOY E E T E N U R E # YEARS / # OF EMPLOYEES / %
0-5 / 122 / 64.55%
10.1-15 / 23 / 12.17%
5.1-10 / 16 / .47%
15.1-20 / 14 / 7.41% 25.1+ / 9 / 4.76% 20.1-25 / 5 / 2.65%
E M P LOY E E R E T E N T I O N R AT E : 9 0 %
NOT THE PLAYGROUND PARTICIPANT YOU WERE EXPECTING? GO BEHIND THE SCENES OF THIS PHOTO SHOOT AT CRESCENTCOMMUNITIES.COM/LONGEVITY/
LONGEVITY C O L L A B O R AT I N G W I T H A C O M M U N I T Y, AT H O M E
When a new community reaches a certain level of stabilization, its residents are empowered to guide it and ensure its future. We set the stage and provide the tools. But the imbued values must be representative of the people who call that community “home.” How should a developer strike this key balance? Creative individuals will tell you that collaboration in the key to breakthroughs. When you leverage the collective power of different energies, skills and perspectives. That’s why our project planning process always starts with Crescent’s CANVAS method, in which we coalesce a visionary team from both our company and the community for a wholly unexpected level of collaboration. A diverse group of contributors convened for three days in the heart of the North Davidson neighborhood – one of Charlotte’s lively arts districts – to share, listen, challenge, envision and dream together. Having a developer truly listen to you and your community’s needs at such an early stage is a wholly unexpected thing. Then again, we’re not your typical developer. And with 44 CANVAS sessions under our belts through the end of 2015, we’ve found that when you launch a new project from a place of pure partnership, you can build enduring communities on a foundation of trusted relationships, aligned goals, and a shared commitment to win-wins across the board. In the end, we believe the upfront fusion of these energies and interests brings longer lasting value to our properties. Candid conversation. Creative collaboration. A commitment to communities being fully represented. These are the colors on our development palate. We call the final masterpiece “Longevity.”
L O N GEVI TY B I G S KY, B I G P O T E N T I A L
In Texas, there’s no shortage of diverse music. You’ll hear no complaint from us; we love dancing to whatever beat feels right in the moment. Take, for instance, our purchase of the Austin-based Belterra community, on the doorstep of Texas Hill Country. When we acquired Belterra, it had the basic ingredients of a solid community – not the least of which were its gorgeous natural surroundings and abundant trail network – but it was struggling to find its identity. We want every community to become one of love, tradition, and longevity. So, what if we could “reverse engineer” Belterra to discover what was missing and inject some gamechanging secret sauce? If anyone could do it, it was Crescent’s team of visionary dreambuilders. Soon, our time-tested CANVAS process was bringing numerous inspired directives to the surface. Amenity makeovers and expansions. A wayfinding improvement project. Reimagined community programming. Rebranding. Three years later, sales have gone from sluggish to soaring, and Belterra is one of the most popular properties in South Austin. In fact, the community was honored as the 2015 Austin Master-Planned Community of the Year. Its residents have organically embraced a coveted lifestyle of music and food trucks, bike races and public spaces, and community programs tied to the uniqueness of Hill Country. As new, thoughtfully-created conveniences continue to enhance the property, Belterra has become more than just a place to live. It has become a desirable, full-service destination where Texas families can be themselves – dancing to their own beat along the rolling terrains and breathtaking vistas that they call home. We didn’t mess with Texas; we just introduced elements to make a good community, great – and truly sustainable. They’ve got it from here.
ONE CRAZY SUMMER
For a group of such bright young minds, they sure had no idea what was in store. That’s because Crescent’s robust Summer Associate Program is designed to provide undergraduate and graduate level students with an unprecedented level of access compared to your garden variety internship. Working hand-in-hand with leaders on projects in every department, each Summer Associate is treated as if they are a full-fledged employee – replete with desk, laptop, credentials, remuneration, and a wealth of opportunities to get involved in Crescent’s work and culture at every level. Lunches with key members of our senior leadership team (including our CEO). Opportunities to meet other business leads and associates through teambuilding. Throw in an end-of-summer presentation to the management team and a chance to join our team after graduation, and you get a learning opportunity that defies expectation. While introducing these young adults to the real estate development world, we’re also getting access to a diversity of fresh thinking, which helps us lead the way in an ever-changing industry and create communities that will endure for generations. For the record, the program has grown 1000% in the last four years – the best four years of our lives – which surely makes us a shoo-in for the valedictorian slot.
C R E S CE N T
We are explorers, seeking information and perspectives that help us consistently generate insight into our customers and our marketplace. We are thoughtful, always asking why and rigorously seeking creative solutions to complex challenges. D O W H AT ’ S R I G H T
We act with unwavering integrity, treating our people, partners and places we are involved with as we would want to be treated. We are stewards of our relationships, our communities and the land. I N N OVAT E A LWAYS
We challenge assumptions, embrace risk and act with conviction in order to deliver “what’s next” in everything we do. D E L I V E R E XC E L L E N C E
For our organization, colleagues, customers, and partners, we are relentless in our pursuit of exceptional work, our search for growth and creating places with lasting value.
B E I N G S T E WA R D S I S N OT O P T I O N A L . I T I S A F U N DA M E N TA L R E Q U I R E M E N T TO D O I N G B U S I N E S S T H E R I G H T WAY.
We strive to incorporate stewardship into every project, to make difficult decisions that address current and future challenges, and to improve continuously. Through ongoing measurement, we hold ourselves accountable to challenging goals in traditional areas of environmental sustainability and in community building, health, happiness and longevity. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that the land and communities under our stewardship remain vibrant. We seek to leave behind legacies whose value builds with time.
Historically, companies have measured sustainability progress in essentially the same ways, and there have been relatively few advances in discovering optimized metrics that better reflect impact. As Crescent has defined stewardship in new ways with Environment, Community, Health, Happiness and Longevity, we have felt the need to identify alternative measures of progress and success that more accurately relate to each of these pillars. Next year, we will be rolling out a new suite of metrics developed in partnership with industry-leading researchers to proprietarily deliver a dynamic measurement system specifically aimed at tracking our progress and success in creating community.
TRYON PLACE, CHARLOTTE, NC
MASONS BEND, FORT MILL, SC
CRESCENT CENTRAL STATION, ORLANDO, FL
CRESCENT COOL SPRINGS, COOL SPRINGS, TN
PIEDMONT TOWN CENTER, CHARLOTTE, NC
CRESCENT DILWORTH, CHARLOTTE, NC
PALMETTO BLUFF, BLUFFTON, SC
LOCKWOOD GLEN, FRANKLIN, TN
CRESCENT SCOTTSDALE QUARTER, SCOTTSDALE, AZ
FIELDING HOMES HOUSE, NC
THE GROVES, HOUSTON, TX
CRESCENT CAMERON VILLAGE, RALEIGH, NC
TWO GREENWAY, COOL SPRINGS, TN
CRESCENT GATEWAY, ORLANDO, FL
LAKE JAMES, LAKE JAMES, NC
T H E PA L M E T T O B L U F F C O N S E R VA N C Y
When Crescent purchased the Palmetto Bluff property in 2003, we realized the land’s environmental integrity and created The Palmetto Bluff Conservancy to ensure that the stewardship practices of the previous owner were continued. First, we protected hundreds of acres under conservation easements and significantly reduced the number of homes to be built – cutting the number to nearly half. Similar endeavors followed, including delineation and protection of wetlands, maintenance of food plots for wildlife and education of property owners on the benefits of “green” building. Because of these efforts and many more, visitors to modern day Palmetto Bluff can enjoy the same spectacular views of the May River that visitors to this land have for centuries. Just another way that Crescent Communities embodies the unexpected in the development world.
CRESCENT COMMUNITIES, LLC 227 W. TRADE STREET, SUITE 100, CHARLOTTE, NC 28202 - 980-321-6000 - CRESCENTCOMMUNITIES.COM
Published on Dec 19, 2016