What they do
Tower 999 is a collaborative initiative to develop a mixed-use project of commercial and nearly 100 residential units, more than half of which are planned as affordable housing for low-income families (80% area median income) in National City. Led by developers Cyrus and Emilia Rapinan of Cyrus & Emilia LLC and Brian Murray of SHIFT Catalyst (owned by fellow Certified B Corp SHIFT Capital), Tower 999 seeks to revitalize National City’s downtown corridor and offer affordable housing units in a historically underinvested area.
Cyrus was born in the Philippines and arrived in the U.S. 34 years ago. Having experienced an immigrant’s struggle in the early years, he and his wife Emilia have compassion for lower-income communities. Cyrus and Emilia wish to develop more affordable housing in a city populated by Filipino/API and Latino residents (approximately 18% and 62% of the population, respectively).
Why we invested
Especially in one of the most expensive metropolitan areas of the country, developing more affordable housing is a way to keep current residents in their communities.
Investing capital at this early stage will improve Tower 999’s chances of a favorable construction loan—often an issue for affordable housing developers who do not have as much capital on-hand to cover upfront costs.
In addition to their goal, we also admire the mentee-mentor model that Cyrus & Emilia LLC and SHIFT Catalyst have developed. Their partnership allows local developers Cyrus & Emilia LLC to work alongside Philadelphia-based SHIFT Catalyst on projects that are normally too big for Cyrus & Emilia LLC. SHIFT’s vision of using “real estate to strategically tackle intergenerational poverty” is aligned with how we think about investing in real estate.
In addition to Tower 999, Cyrus & Emilia LLC and SHIFT Catalyst intend to develop more housing projects in National City and other communities in San Diego.