Don Peebles said he’s hopeful the $500 million fund his firm launched last June to invest in projects by minority and women-owned developers will begin deploying capital by year end.
The Peebles Corporation diversity fund will target projects ranging between $10 to $70 million in New York, Los Angeles and South Florida. In an interview this week, the Peebles Corp. founder said he’s still in discussions with institutional investors, but expects to start investing by the end of the year. Funds of this size typically take 18 months to reach their goal, he said.
“We’re working very hard at it,” he said. “The pandemic and the inability to meet people in person and so forth, it made it more difficult. But everybody’s adapting, and we’re making progress.”
He said that while the industry over the last couple of decades has talked about diversity, “they have approached it in generally philanthropic ways — helping the most neediest of Black people, as opposed to doing business with Black [firms], deploying capital to businesses and entrepreneurs who are talented but haven’t had fair access to capital.”
Peebles would not say how much the fund has raised, but noted that he’s seen increased interest in recent months, as discussions about race and equality have gained momentum. He said the Black Lives Matter movement and protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death have heightened calls for equal access to economic opportunities, in real estate and other industries.
“I think those protests raised a discussion about the wealth disparity and the income disparities and the disparity of opportunities that African Americans confront every day in this country,” he said.
Write to Kathryn Brenzel at [email protected]