The FORT Podcast: Riaz Taplin – Founder of Riaz Capital – Do Well, Do Good – Developing a Billion Dollar Microliving Empire in the Bay Area

Principal & Founder Riaz Taplin has been thinking about workforce housing for most of his professional life. Growing up in a real estate family, Riaz detoured early in his career from the family business to develop his own style by founding a design/build firm and developing over 50 ultra-luxury residences in the Bay Area. In successive projects and ventures, Riaz explored co-living, adaptive reuse micro-units, student housing, and traditional ground-up construction – all of which led to the firm’s custom workforce housing solution – the Micro-Living Studio.  Riaz leads Riaz Capital, a vertically integrated workforce housing developer and institutional-grade sponsor with a core team of over fifty professionals managing a portfolio of over 1,300 units, and with over 1,000 residences in the pipeline.

On this episode, Chris and Riaz discuss developing amazing projects in 30 months or less, how Riaz Capital builds units that are 28% more affordable than the competition. They deep dive on why design matters and why the Bay Area matters and will be a strong market for decades to come. Enjoy!

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(04:10) – Riaz’s Background and Career

(12:24) – What is Microliving?

(15:12) – How are you able to build these developments in 30 months when other deals take 7 years?

(21:22) – Do you self-perform GC?

(24:24) – How does zoning work in your market?

(27:20) – Affordability Without Public Subsidizing

(28:19) – Riaz’s ‘Simple Build’ Model

(32:09) – Family households have dropped 69% to 29%, what does that mean for you?

(35:54) – What do these units look like inside?

(40:34) – Do tenants have to put a deposit down since the unit is pre-furnished?

(41:34) – How do people getting into the industry get furniture designed for units?

(42:43) – How do you design the layout of your units?

(46:35) – Are we headed into a world where everything is smaller and more efficient?

(50:39) – What are most people still getting wrong with apartment development?

(53:28) – What would you change immediately that would make housing more attainable at scale?

(56:10) – Why is the Bay Area still really important at a time when people are trying to write it off?

(1:00:52) – Raising Capital, Funds & Opportunity Zones

(1:11:33) – Wrap Up

The Fort is produced by Johnny Peterson & Straight Up Podcasts

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