Richard Baron is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of McCormack Baron Salazar, a firm specializing in the development and management of mixed-income communities with an emphasis on large-scale redevelopment projects in central city locations.
A pioneer in the housing development field and a 30-year veteran in revitalizing urban communities, Mr. Baron guides McCormack Baron Salazar (MBS) in re-creating neighborhoods in some of the most distressed inner-city areas across the country. The success of MBS developments across the country – for example, in Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Saint Louis, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Atlanta, and Cleveland - are a testament to the company’s ability to transform neglected, physically deteriorating neighborhoods into areas of prosperity and growth. In 2004, Mr. Baron was selected as the fifth annual laureate of the Urban Land Institute J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development. The Urban Land Institute J.C. Nichols Prize recognizes a person whose career demonstrates a commitment to the highest standards of responsible development.
Mr. Baron is the founder and developer of The Center of Creative Arts (COCA), in University City, Missouri. COCA is a community-based visual and performing arts center that serves more than 50,000 children and adults annually. He was the co-founder and co-chairman of the Vashon Education Compact, a partnership of the St. Louis Public Schools and major corporations. The Compact was working to transform ten low-performing public schools in the City of St. Louis into high-achieving schools.
Recognizing the need for advanced education of community development professionals, in 2003 Mr. Baron founded the Center for Urban Redevelopment Excellence at the University of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Baron serves on the Executive Committee of the Regional Chamber and Growth Association, and on the Boards of St. Louis Downtown Partnership, Downtown Now!, and The Center of Creative Arts. He serves on the Advisory Board for the Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy at The Brookings Institution. He formerly served on the Board of Trustees at St. Louis University. He is an Emeritus Trustee of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Mr. Baron is a graduate of Oberlin College, and holds a Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of California-Berkeley and a J.D. from the University of Michigan. Mr. Baron has been awarded honorary degrees from Oberlin College and from St. Louis University.
Vince Bennett is Executive Vice President McCormack Baron Salazar, a firm specializing in the development and management of mixed-income communities with an emphasis on large-scale redevelopment projects in central city locations.
Mr. Bennett manages a multi-disciplinary team of design, construction, legal, finance and management staff working on residential developments in New Orleans, St. Louis, Miami, Memphis and Phoenix. He has particular expertise in public housing transformations (HOPE VI) and large-scale neighborhood master redevelopment efforts. In addition to administering development activity, he supervises redevelopment consulting assignments and supports new business development. His experience includes structuring and negotiating mixed-finance/mixed-income transactions that include Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) equity, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME, HOPE VI, PHA Capital, foundation, corporate donations, grants, and conventional debt. He facilitates communication with local community organizations and elected officials, neighborhood residents, lenders, foundations, and state, local and federal agencies. Mr. Bennett is helping to coordinate the LEED-ND pilot certification effort for several HOPE VI projects.
Mr. Bennett dedicates a portion of his time to strategic development and supporting sourcing for Sunwheel Energy Partners.
Prior to joining the firm in 1993, he managed commercial and economic development activities for a community development corporation in the City of Pittsburgh. Mr. Bennett is a member of the executive committee of the Board for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri, Vice Chair of the Grand Rock Community Economic Development Corporation in St. Louis, and Commissioner of the St. Louis Metropolitan Taxi Commission. Mr. Bennett is a graduate of the University of California in Santa Cruz with degrees in Economics and Psychology, and received his Master’s degree in Management and Public Policy with concentrations in Financial Management and Urban Development and Planning at Carnegie Mellon University.
Kevin McCormack is President of McCormack Baron Salazar, a firm specializing in the development and management of mixed-income communities with an emphasis on large-scale redevelopment projects in central city locations.
Mr. McCormack pioneered the development of the HUD/public housing “mixed income/mixed finance” model, combining Public Housing funds with first mortgage and equity funds and local and state subsidies to revitalize former public housing sites with mixed-income privately-managed housing.
Mr. McCormack has been with the company since 1981 and has served as President since 2000. In addition to his oversight of the entire development process, he continues to be closely involved in Project Finance and in Asset Management. MBS projects are known for their solid design, high quality and innovative financial structures which blend federal, state and community subsidies with conventional debt and equity to provide quality urban development. From 1981 to 2000, Mr. McCormack was responsible for structuring the financing for most of the company’s real estate development projects. Prior to joining MBS, Mr. McCormack served nine years with Chemical Bank/J P Morgan-Chase as a vice president. Mr. McCormack is a speaker on residential urban development topics and a consultant and advisor to not-for-profits, cities and states. He is a graduate of Lehigh University and received a Master’s degree from University College, University of London, England.
As President, Mr. McCormack is the chief operating officer of McCormack Baron Salazar, Inc., which is the groups’ development arm. Mr. McCormack is responsible for the coordination and management of project closings, business development, and the financial and operational performance of the company. Prior to assuming the position as President, Mr. McCormack was responsible for structuring most of the financing for the company’s real estate development projects. The company has developed residential and mixed-use projects in many cities across the country. The residential developments typically range from 200 to 500 units that are often built over several years in two or more phases of construction. Where “new” city neighborhoods are being created, the company has often developed or encouraged development of ancillary retail, office and other commercial space. These projects were financed through a variety of innovative structures incorporating conventional mortgages and tax exempt and taxable bonds, soft loans, grants and equity provided by banks, insurance companies, pension funds, City, State and Federal programs, local corporate and non-profit institutions, and Wall Street.
The company has been on the forefront in the creative blending of Federal, State and community subsidies with conventional debt and equity to provide quality urban development. Development costs have totaled $1.6 billion from 1979.
• $581 million in equity was raised for these projects;
• 42 projects utilized $141 million in FHA mortgage insurance;
• 18 projects received $40 million in UDAG and HoDAG funding;
• 38 projects utilized $244 million in bond financing;
• 74 projects involved Low Income Housing Tax Credits;
• 34 phases totaling 4,482 units were developed as “mixed finance” public housing.
Tony Salazar is President of West Coast Operations of McCormack Baron Salazar, a firm specializing in the development and management of mixed-income communities with an emphasis on large-scale redevelopment projects in central city locations.
Mr. Salazar’s entire professional career has been dedicated to rebuilding inner-city communities. He has used his skills and expertise to bring a sense of belonging and hope for the future to America’s forgotten neighborhoods. Currently, his primary responsibilities include managing the day to day operations of McCormack Baron Salazar’s Western Division. This involves new business development; coordinating the planning process; acting as liaison with joint venture partners; interfacing with government officials and local community groups; and, coordinating the final design (architecture) process including the integration of construction, marketing and management disciplines. Mr. Salazar specializes in developing large-scale urban projects in distressed communities that involve mixed-use (housing and retail), mixed-income (affordable and market-rate), multi-generational, various housing types (rental and for-sale) and blended financing. The financing for his projects involve a combination of conventional debt, government sources (CDBG, HOPE VI, Low Income Housing Tax Credit, New Market Tax Credits, Section 8, HOME, Bonds and Tax Increment Financing), Foundation grants and/or PRI loans, pension funds. Mr. Salazar has been instrumental in developing over 4,000 residential units located in the cities of Los Angeles, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Phoenix and San Francisco. This includes six HOPE VI projects, two senior projects, seven mixed-income developments, three transit villages, a SRO and five earthquake recovery projects. He currently serves on the board of Enterprise Community Partners, CUREx (Center for Urban Redevelopment at the University of Pennsylvania), Bank of America’s National Community Advisory Council, National Council of La Raza, and Farmworker Justice. Previously, he served as a board chair of the National Council of La Raza, the largest Hispanic advocacy organization in the country and as director of the California Community Foundation. He also served as director of The Enterprise Social Investment Corporation, The Community Development Research Center at the New School of Social Research and with several private sector companies. Tony has a Master’s degree in Social Work specializing in Administration from the University of Michigan and a B.A. from the University of Missouri at Kansas City.