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March 17, 2009

James Webb


African American Builder and Author Encouraging Rebirth of Black Neighborhoods

James T. Webb, Master Builder

Miami Beach, FL ( - African-American Affordable Housing and Jobs Activist, James T Webb is nearing settlement with the SEC. Webb, one of only a handful of Black Builders in America, has been building professionally for 24 years (since 1985). Webb also served as state youth chairman of the NC NAACP in 1980, as well as an ACT-SO Gold medalist (Miami, FL 1980). In 1984, Webb served as President of the Student Body at North Carolina Central University.

Some of Webb's construction projects over the past 24 years include ten thousand square feet Estate Homes(1). Many church construction projects, such as the New White Rock Chancel Renovation, Durham N.C. as well as over 500 renovated single family affordable homes priced in the $65,000 range(2). Webb, who has purchased and renovated over 500 affordable homes throughout America, did so after they had fallen into disrepair and were in a condemned state(3). Most of these homes have been within African-American neighborhoods. Webb, who started rehabbing in 1985, has always utilized local First Tier Labor on his projects. Many of them were ex-felons of all races, trying to enter the labor force(4).

In 2002, Webb left the Estate Home and Church Construction markets to fulfill his dream of "Rebuilding America," especially within low net worth African-American neighborhoods, which historically, have not seen much redevelopment activity. Webb, according to court documents, not only created hundreds of affordable homes and jobs during this period but also made over 20 million dollars, most of which he reinvested back into his business. He was frustrated after receiving a one million dollar loan commitment from an FDIC bank within 3 hours to build an Estate home for investment in a high net worth white community. Yet he was denied by the same bank for a $40,000 loan, pursuant for two months, to purchase and renovate an affordable home within a black neighborhood(5).

Webb took his business model to individual lenders (other than financial institutions) who financed homes for his redevelopment projects. After successfully doing so since 2002, Webb transitioned and began doing business with some former Wall Street Executives. It was time to go to the next level. After foiled attempts by the same corporate masterminds at securing Webb's historic construction data and Investor base without his permisson, he and his redevelopment companies soon became the victims of corporate raiding, espionage, illegal attachments, and black hat computer intrusions. His subcontractor lists (over 100) was unlawfully taken as well as lender/investor lists and other valuable business relationships. These efforts continued for years as they followed Webb into new markets with paid media and internet smear campaigns, and unfounded complaints launched against him and his companies, with many regulatory and other agencies, aimed at crippling Webb's redevelopment efforts. They filed petitions against everything except his driver's license. Former employees of Webb were paid thousands of dollars to dismantle his rental portfolios resulting in the torching of some of Webb's homes in North Carolina, Tennessee and Missouri. James T. Webb, Master builder, speaks out on these masterminded efforts in his new book entitled Save Your Neighborhood and Yourself, in which he teaches others to rebuild America's African-American Neighborhoods(6).

At the edge of the SEC settlement on behalf of Webb, his companies and investors, the overwhelming level of interest in the real estate investment trust (REIT) suggests that REITS are likely the new vehicle through which investors are going to own real estate. An UPREIT in the "HOOD"...? Webb says YES WE CAN!!! The main impetus for growth in the REIT market and the inner city will be the tax-favored treatment of two recently developed entities: the umbrella partnership real estate investment trust (UPREIT), and the latest variation known as the "down-REIT." Looking for opportunities for his vintage investors, Webb and his companies have presented to the SEC a complete package and information about the Company's future plans to create a REIT and an UPREIT. This is confirmation for his former investors of the company's continuity and stability as well as a device to share the benefits of both structures with vintage investors, who have provided and continue to provide, support to the company even during the most difficult periods.

In addition to the advantages of both structures, the company's new business policies are in harmony with our President, Barack Obama's 2010 budget, particularly the Department of Housing and Urban Development appropriation, which focuses on affordable housing development in economically distressed communities, including funding of $4.5 billion "to ensure that communities continue to invest in and expand economic opportunities for low income families"(7). These programs will stimulate the real estate market, especially low income communities, by revitalizing distressed housing in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty (the footprint of Webb's Redevelopment work and Jobs creation efforts).


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