In this episode, Thom and Jason sit down with Leon County Commissioner and CEO of America’s Second Harvest of the Big Bend; Rick Minor, to talk a wide variety of topics around local real estate development and politics.
Tune in to hear:
- Rick’s background and how he’s really come to enjoy living and working Tallahassee.
- The challenges Tallahassee faces with quality affordable housing.
- Insight in to challenges investors have when it comes to storm water restrictions.
- A coming forum designed to encourage neighborhood advocates and local real estate investors to engage with each other about coming development projects.
- Rick’s take of the state of the local economy and even the current political climate in our country.
00:45: Rick gives us some background on his story and how he’s come to really enjoy living and working in Tallahassee. He explains how he’s been involved in politics for a while.
01:54: Thom asks Rick “why politics” and Rick explains how he really just wants to make a difference. Rick goes on to tell us how he’s also serving as the CEO of the 2nd Harvest of Big Bend. Rick tells us how that organization’s food distribution is growing at an enormous rate and how hunger in the area is going down.
03:34: We talk about how Thom was not a great student when taking a class, taught by Rick’s wife Jessica Minor, years ago at Florida State University.
04:30: Jason asks Rick about his work in and around issues that impact local Real Estate investors. Rick tells us how he has frequent meetings with the Tallahassee Board of Investors and how local Realtors are are great resource for him to gauge how well the local economy is doing.
05:16: We talk about affordable housing in the local Tallahassee market and how people are struggling to find quality and desirable affordable housing in neighborhoods in safe neighborhoods. Rick and Jason discuss the struggles of actually providing quality affordable housing.
07:20: We talk about how we can encourage developers to set aside a certain number of their units to affordable housing and the challenges that play in to that. We discuss more about the options buyers have when it comes to finding quality affordable housing in Tallahassee and how each of them have their pros and cons for the local economy.
08:40: Jason expresses his concerns and frustration with the requirements around storm water. He explains how the city’s lack of efficiency when it comes to processing storm water requires developers to have larger holding ponds. He explains how these large holding ponds reduce the develop-able space for the project and therefore drive up the cost of each unit. Rick explains how the commission is right at the point where they could possibly do something about that. He also elaborates on the challenges around Tallahassee having red clay and how that also plays in to the need to have larger holding ponds.
14:00: Rick expresses his goal of striking the right balance that encourages investors to invest in Tallahassee and also preserves the things that make Tallahassee special.
14:38: Thom and Rick discuss a local forum he is hoping to start soon that will encourage neighborhood advocates and Real Estate investors to engage in dialogue about projects that are happening in and around our city. Rick tells us that he hopes to have this forum start in May or June but that the dates are still tentative. He tells us that he is working with Village Square to host and conduct the forum. We talk about the overall goal of the forum and the potential topics to be discussed.
20:08: We talk about Rick’s overall take on the local economy based on his interaction with local business people and Real Estate investors in Tallahassee. We talk about how unemployment in Tallahassee is slightly lower than the State average and how manufacturing is doing really well.
21:35: We talk about how college graduates are starting to stay more and more in Tallahassee after college due to the gradually diversifying economy. We talk about how Rick would like to see us double down on finding businesses that can utilize research from the Magnetic Lab and how he’d like to find the right person to really push that business development forward. Rick points out Tallahassee was just named one of the best places to live in America by Livability.com.
24:26: We talk about the investment opportunities in Tallahassee and, specifically, the highlights on investing in the “Opportunity Zones”. Rick explains the need for these opportunities to be beneficial for both investors and the people how live in our community. He expresses the concerns with potential gentrification with this program and how we need to be careful to not simply press out people who already live in a target zone. We talk about the concerns that were raised with the gentrification in Frenchtown in Tallahassee.
31:10: We talk about Rick’s take on the overall political climate in the Country and his view on National politics. He explains his idea logical differences with the current administration but expresses his understanding of why people support it. Rick elaborates and explains how he, as a local politician, needs to continue to listen to folks and try to solve problems for them; regardless of where they sit politically.