Sidney Stone Expands Real Estate’s Role
Sidney Stone is leaving no stone unturned. He joined CCH in July of 2020 bringing with him a broad background in real estate, community development, new construction, acquisitions, and rehabilitation of existing buildings. As the Director of Real Estate, he and his team are always on the lookout for the next best real estate deal. After more than a year on the job, Sidney shares insights about his background and the outlook for CCH’s Development Department.
Tell us about your background and how it prepared you for your role at CCH.
I have been in the affordable housing field for 15 years. I started with the County of Orange after getting my Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of California, Irvine. This was a mid-career shift. Previously, I was in outside sales servicing school supply stores for two Fortune 500 educational publishers but the onset of online suppliers killed that industry. Since moving into the affordable housing field, I have worked for government agencies within the city and county of Los Angeles and Santa Clara. CCH is my third private sector role after stints at Chelsea Investment and Innovative Housing Opportunities. Remaining flexible in my housing career has meant moving around frequently to adapt as the industry has been impacted by the 2008 economic collapse, the elimination of redevelopment agencies, cutbacks in HUD funding and now the COVID-19 pandemic.
What drew you to CCH?
The chance to create a new pipeline and the potential to implement innovative development techniques drew me to CCH. This is a stable organization with a rich history and I hope to make a positive impact.
What is your main goal for CCH’s Development Department?
Fulfilling CCH’s twin development missions of creating new affordable housing for seniors and refinancing and rehabbing existing facilities to improve the financial sustainability of CCH’s Operations are the main objectives for Development.
What new projects are you and your team working on?
We have a number of exciting new developments for California in Redding (60 units); Hayward (80 units); Visalia (70 units); Reedley (70 units) and Sacramento (150 units), plus new developments in Memphis (200 units); Colorado (80 units); and Arizona (150 units). Additionally, we’re looking at rehab projects for our California properties in Antioch, Butte, Santa Ana, Santa Cruz, Westlake and also in Oregon. There is plenty enough work to keep our team very busy.
What impact has the pandemic had on identifying and bringing in new projects?
There is more funding becoming available, which is good news, but also more uncertainty with development costs. This is kind of a double-edge sword playing out alongside the pandemic.
What most excites you about your job? And what, if anything, would you change?
Working with good people to make a difference in the lives of seniors is one of the most exciting aspects of the job. As we look to expand our operations, we will continue to hire more staff to take advantage of even more opportunities on the horizon.
What do you see as your biggest accomplishment and your biggest challenge?
Creating a viable financial pipeline has been our biggest accomplishment to date but this is also the biggest challenge because of the myriad of obstacles we face surrounding the lack of dedicated financing for senior housing.
What is your vision for expanding CCH’s real estate development in the future?
I am looking to develop the department as innovatively and efficiently as possible while reducing costs so CCH does not have to access as much government sources.
What personal interests do you enjoy outside of work?
My favorite hobbies are hiking, wine tasting, cooking, travel, music, photography and writing. I currently pair my poetry with my photos and have written several books and screenplays.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I have a 19-year-old son who is in college, runs a door dash business, and invests his earnings so he can buy property in the future and retire far earlier than his dad.