ULI Gets a New Global Chairman, Related Group Investigated for Evading Taxes on Miami Project

Mensch:
Noun. A decent, upright, mature and responsible person.

Schlemiel:
Noun, slang. An awkward, clumsy, or unlucky person whose endeavors tend to fail. A loser.

Mensch of the Week:

Thomas Toomey, ULI Global Chairman

Thomas Toomey of UDR Inc. is leaving his CEO job for Urban Land Institute as its new global chairman!

Already a ULI member, Toomey will be taking on the position of global chairman, with his term ending in June 2019. His duties will include focusing on ULI’s mission efforts, creating volunteering opportunities, expanding ULI membership, and working closely with other ULI executives across the globe.

At UDR, Toomey specialized in handling multifamily developments. He helped facilitate several acquisitions and developments that amounted to about $19 billion. He had been with the company for over 16 years, so UDR is definitely losing a good one, but ULI is gaining a great leader.

Over the last few years, Toomey has been very active with ULI. He was the treasurer of ULI’s Multifamily Product Council, was the chairman of the Urban Innovation Grant Committee, and more. With so much experience in multifamily developments and real estate, Toomey is a great choice and definitely an asset to ULI. Congrats!

 

Schlemiel of the Week

Related Group’s affordable housing arm

Related Group is in some trouble regarding its affordable housing arm, Related Urban, this week. The company is currently under investigation for potentially avoiding paying taxes on a project located in Miami called the Shenandoah project.

When building the project, the company hired independent contractors rather than in-house, which elicited suspicion. Independent contractors pay their own taxes, so firms do not have to worry about paying taxes such as Medicaid and Social Security. Several other subsidized developments are being investigated as well. It is uncertain whether or not Related profited from misreported construction costs.

Although Related is not necessarily the center of this scandal, things aren’t looking too good as far as Related’s reputation goes. The Related Group is South Florida’s biggest developer, and with this scandal, its business could potentially take a huge hit.

Unfortunately, situations like this are not uncommon. The affordable housing industry in South Florida has been under scrutiny for a while now, so this case is definitely in the spotlight. There also seems to be a lot of confusion regarding misclassification of employees when it comes to independent contractors.

It’s hard to say how the affordable housing sector will be affected after the outcome of this investigation, but it’s safe to say that this schlemiel will be in the limelight for some time.