Urban Revision, whose mission “is to help cities develop safe, sustainable and enriching urban blocks,” sat down with Martin Melaver, author of Living Above the Store: Building a Business That Creates Value, Inspires Change, and Restores Land and Community, for a short video on his approach to socially responsible business and its role in urban renewal.
We’re a third-generation family business based in Savannah, Georgia. Originally in the grocery business. Sold the business in the mid-Eighties. And when we sold the business, we recognized two things: one is we’d always been in the real estate business—developing shopping centers, things like that, for our grocery business. So that was one, we never realized we were in the real estate business. And two: we hated the real estate business. You know, with its basic despoliation of the environment and its tendency to homogenize place.
And so we decided in the mid-Eighties that if we were going to continue in the real estate business at all we had to create a new paradigm for how a real estate company should work. Pay more attention to the social fabric where we work, urban corps-type stuff, and being better stewards of the environment. So that’s our raison d’ĂȘtre. Creates meaning and purpose for me and a bunch of folks who work with me.