Renewable Power Perspectives Q&A with Robert “A.J.” Patton, CEO of 548 Capital, LLC.
Share with us a current success story.
We just recently joined Mayor Lightfoot for a press conference to reveal that we will be constructing a $30 million, totally sustainable and completely affordable advancement, in partnership with the City of Chicago. We are building 50 residential units, a coffee store, an organization center, all on the South Side of Chicago, which will expand solar-powered use in the city
What effect are you making?
I think there is constantly a shock when people discover who is behind our business. Even in our own neighborhoods, individuals simply cant think it.
The other thing that I believe is important is we have a financial effect that resonates with individuals, and its a quite effective message. That amount of money effects the budget of everyday families
What obstacles do you face? Why?
When I go to banks and state that were building sustainable housing in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, they look at me like Ive spoken the incorrect language. These neighborhoods are still being red-lined. I believe the lesson is that union building is crucial.
By Constance ThompsonAugust 31, 2021
Picture thanks to Pat Nabong/Sun-Times
The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is pleased to share the 3rd installation in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog series.
Each installment features industry leaders and topics related to speeding up an equitable and just shift to a renewable resource economy. In acknowledgment of National Black Business Month, our August features highlight how 3 Black-owned Accelerate member business are prospering in the renewable resource sector.
Robert “A.J.” Patton is a financing, sales, and capital markets expert with more than a decade of experience in investment banking, endowment management, and property analysis. In May 2016, A.J. founded 548 Capital, LLC, to combine his knowledge and track record of producing constant returns with an individual enthusiasm for helping transform neighborhoods and their impact on the planet. In 2019, Patton was named a recipient of the Energy News 40 Under 40 award– highlighting his effect on Americas transition to a tidy economy.
LEARNT MORE: Up-and-Comer Developer Makes Headway without the Banks ( Chicago Sun-Times, August 27, 2021).
What inspired you to start your business?
I had two critical minutes that made me leap. In 1999, my mom got a $400 gas bill, and she was only making ten bucks an hour, so we could not manage the gas bill. A lot of people have similar anecdotes, and thats not a great thing
They looked confused that I would even attempt ask about the daily individuals. I believe I turned in my resignation within six months of that discussion, and I began my company. I named it 548 Capital since that is the system number in the public real estate where I grew up.
So what can organizations like ACORE do to move that needle for you, to break down that barrier?
Putting people in spaces together so everybody can share notes is always important. Normalizing direct exposure, standing next to us and saying “these neighborhoods are worthy of investment”– you cant put a value on that
How can possible partners do service with you?
We are also constantly prepared to host people if they desire to see some of the sustainable technology we are putting in these neighborhoods. We host people when a week at our building so they can see the innovation that were using in neighborhoods that historically have not had gain access to. Im constantly difficult top executives to put their name and face on these efforts due to the fact that I believe that has genuine worth
How was your Accelerate membership benefited you?
Its been fantastic simply to satisfy the other Accelerate member companies. I found out a lot from having conversations with them in real-time, and discovering about people with completely different viewpoints. I love the networking.
I think we are doing the very best we can do in the COVID environment. Feeling in ones bones that it exists, and that ACORE is so deliberate about the program, makes a huge distinction.
Inform us about your business? (mission, partners, areas you operate in, primary customers, etc.).
The vision of 548 Capital is to make sustainable innovations available for all: all communities, all families, everybody needs to have gain access to. Someone, some entity, needs to serve as the bridge so that those technologies reach everybody. Thats what my objective is, and thankfully we are growing. We are currently headquartered in Chicago, however we will be revealing some brand-new areas this fall
I believe there is constantly a shock when people discover who is behind our company. Even in our own neighborhoods, people simply cant believe it. Putting people in rooms together so everyone can share notes is always valuable. We are likewise always willing to host individuals if they want to see some of the sustainable innovation we are putting in these neighborhoods. We host individuals when a week at our structure so they can see the innovation that were applying in neighborhoods that traditionally havent had access.