This week, our Los Angeles studio hosted its second E(x)plore Lunch Series talk, featuring Senior Vice President of Hudson Pacific Chris Pearson. Project Designer Devika Tandon led the conversation with Chris, who is our client for our Marlton Square project in South Los Angeles, where Chris was born and raised. Marlton Square is the brainchild of EquiBlue, a Black and women-led fund powered by Hudson Pacific alongside CBRE, a strategic partner. Chris is one of two co-fund managers for EquiBlue, a new role he discussed during our lunch talk.
“I felt there were things we could do with commercial real estate that hasn’t been done before,” Chris said during the conversation, outlining the motivations he and his partners had to launch EquiBlue just a few years ago. The novelty in EquiBlue’s business model is its commitment to give 25 percent of its profits back to the community, an innovative and unlikely commitment in an industry that aims to maximize investor returns. The philanthropic funds distributed by EquiBlue, Chris explained, could potentially be used for interest-free mortgages, business loans, and several other purposes, working like an endowment at a university.
The conversation was diverse and wide-ranging. In addition to discussions on socially conscious commercial development, Chris also spoke about the need for policy changes to allow for more innovation in the urban realm, the potential opportunities to be had by creating smaller downtown districts in Los Angeles, the importance of intimacy with the community, and tons more.