Real Estate is Real Equity

Meet Dave Stockert, WFF’s Real Estate Committee Chair

For Westside Future Fund board member Dave Stockert, real estate is in the blood. Since moving to Atlanta in 1995, he’s been entrenched in the industry, most recently as CEO of apartment company Post Properties. That made his current role serving as the chair of the real estate committee a natural fit.

Stockert’s involvement with WFF started back in 2017. Despite the monumental challenge of affordable housing, the revitalization approach outlined for the Westside neighborhoods intrigued him. “If we could pull it off, it would be unique in the country,” he says.

Housing owned by the nonprofit and kept affordable in perpetuity would be different from the typical strategy of using development to catalyze growth and gentrification—change that often pushes out longtime residents. Instead, Stockert wanted to contribute to the effort to preserve affordability for those who have lived in the historic neighborhoods and ensure they benefit from the improvements coming to the area.

In his role as chair of the WFF real estate committee, he helps the team work on renovations, development and acquisitions to meet the organization’s affordable housing goals. “We’re picking up steam in our single-family program with renovations of vacant homes and new construction, with Home on the Westside giving preference to those with connections here,” says Stockert. “More homeownership makes the neighborhoods more stable. Neighbors get to know each other and watch out for one another and for their kids.”

He notes it’s also an equity-building opportunity for many Black families who have historically not had that chance because of institutional impediments.

In addition to the residential revitalization, Stockert’s excited about new greenspace and future retail. Avid bike-riders, he and his wife use the recently opened portion of the Westside Beltline to frequent the new reservoir park and Lee & White complex. “We’re looking forward to seeing a variety of restaurants opening there, too. Echo Street is also going to be a strong addition to the Westside. It’s going to bring a good mix to the area.” He hopes these developments will bring people to the Westside to experience the history and charm it has to offer, which too few area residents really know.

Looking to the future, Stockert remains committed to WFF’s vision of responsible, inclusive growth. “Atlanta is going to grow and have plenty of opportunities for people, but if we pay attention to those who could be left behind, it’ll be a better type of growth. We’ll all be better for it.”