Our founder and CEO is well known actor, film maker, educator, serial entrepreneur and emerging real estate developer, Dr. Malik Yoba. Growing up amidst the rubble of urban decay in the poorest sections of New York City in the seventies and eighties, this South Bronx native witnessed people of color like himself not having the access to quality education or the ability to afford housing that would help sustain and grow generational wealth. This experience inspired him to pursue careers in education, real estate development and the arts and ignited his passion for compassionate capitalism and making a positive difference in the lives of others.
Yoba got his start in real estate investing in 1996 which eventually led to real estate development in 2008 when he was invited to become a partner and investor in Center West Baltimore, led by La Cite Development, a black owned NYC based firm. The more he learned about the built environment and how it came to be, the more he was inspired to share the stories, educate others and start his own company.
As an actor and filmmaker, Yoba understands the power of storytelling on film and its ability to educate and impact audiences to take action. As a serial social-entrepreneur, he saw a unique business opportunity in combining his passions for real estate, film making, education, entrepreneurship and working with young people.
Our slogan “Builder of People, Places and Things”, is our guiding principle because we understand that the first real estate any of us owns is in our minds and therefore our first investment must be in education. For communities of color that traditionally do not have family histories in commercial real estate development, we believe we must lift as we climb. For us, this is the definition of “doing well while doing good”.
Capability, Creativity, and Compassionate Capitalism and the right partnerships as core values. We believe in making money with and for our investors but not at the expense of uneducated and disenfranchised people. As a result, we have created a niche in the business of real estate development, education, and deal flow. We are the only real estate development company that exists at the intersection of visual storytelling, entrepreneurship, education, activism, and cooperative economics. This is the secret sauce that makes Yoba Development a viable source in our community.
Another competitive advantage is Dr. Malik Yoba, our CEO has significant “star power” which allows entree’ into certain rooms, that others without a public profile would not be able to access.