When Gwen and Rupert McCave retired from their careers of 30+ years, they knew it was a stepping stone to their next big adventure: real estate development. But not just any real estate development. They wanted to rehabilitate properties into affordable housing for underserved communities. The couple had plenty of knowledge to draw upon from their former careers, Rupert as an architect with experience in a variety of industries, and Gwen as an IT and client relations professional. However, the couple wanted to become more knowledgeable about the real estate field, so they earned their real estate licenses and began working with local real estate buyers, sellers, and investors. In 2018, they took the next step to becoming real estate developers by starting their own company, RGM Real Estate Solutions, LLC.
The McCaves got to work rehabbing properties in the Washington, D.C. area. Their company was growing steadily and they started regularly attending real estate investment conferences to expand it even further. After the McCaves met Robyn and Warren Goodwine at a conference at Howard University, the couples got to know each other and realized how much they had in common. Like the McCaves, the Goodwines were retired and eager to create affordable housing through real estate investment. Prior to retirement, Robyn had led business services and human resources at a complex matrix organization, and Warren had managed commercial properties in the Maryland-D.C. metropolitan area. The more the four of them talked, the more they realized how successful they could be if they worked together on real estate projects.
In 2020, Gwen, Rupert, Robyn, and Warren formed M&G Real Estate Ventures, LLC to focus on creating affordable home ownership opportunities in Baltimore City. For Warren, M&G’s mission is a little more personal. “When I was a young man, I lived in the projects. I understand what it’s like to not have decent housing,” he says. Warren has always had a passion for home projects, recalling how he would “bang away” with his grandfather’s hammers and nails as a young child. Rupert, who has completed hundreds of architectural and construction projects in his career, witnessed firsthand the overdevelopment of homes that are unaffordable to most people. He wants to use his skills in architectural design and construction management to create homeownership opportunities for underserved populations. “If I can develop, design, and build homes that people can afford, it’s worth the effort,” he explains.
M&G’s first order of business was to purchase three properties at auction, followed by searching for financing to rehab the properties. Gwen and Rupert had previously worked with hard money lenders and private funders for RGM’s projects, but they wanted to find a mission-based lender to finance the rehab of the Bond Street property in the Oliver neighborhood of East Baltimore. Their vision was to transform the rowhome into a suitable, quality home that would be both desirable and affordable to local residents. The foursome began working with Tracy Evans, a loan officer at Baltimore Community Lending, to get the project financed. Tracy assisted them with minimizing their risks and ensuring the project’s financial feasibility. “It was a pleasure working with Team M&G, a developer that exemplifies the promise of neighborhood revitalization by creating affordable homeownership opportunities. Baltimore Community Lending is proud to support their ‘one house at a time’ approach of finding a vacant house on an otherwise stable block where long-term homeowners and new homeowners are experiencing a transforming community,” Tracy says. Due to the project’s alignment with BCL’s mission and the hard work of the McCaves and the Goodwines, their loan request was approved in July 2021.
The McCaves and the Goodwines wanted to make sure their project aligned with the Oliver community’s goals and needs before they started construction. They worked with local advocates and attended community-based meetings to understand the needs of the residents and to ensure their project would benefit the community. As a result, Rupert designed a flexible, multi-functional floorplan that can accommodate families of various sizes. The McCaves and the Goodwines worked hard to rehab the property into a rowhome that is functional, attractive, and affordable. The 3-bedroom, 3.5 bath rowhome is adorned with amenities, such as granite kitchen countertops, new appliances, and a backyard fence, that are made of high-quality materials built to last. Click here to get more information about the property.
Gwen, Rupert, Robyn, and Warren have their sights set on bigger real estate development projects in the future. They’re looking forward to supporting more communities in Baltimore, always with the mission of creating affordable homeownership opportunities for underserved residents. As Warren says, “Each of us has had the opportunity to experience a new home, and that experience gives you such great joy. And to hand the keys over to someone who is experiencing home ownership, we know how that feels.”