Southern Land Company’s Community Impact

(above) A team of SLC women volunteered in an all-women building project with Habitat for Humanity in Nashville

Southern Land Company is not your everyday property developer. Rather than making a quick buck on low-hanging development opportunities, Southern Land Company spends years immersed in communities to learn their needs and priorities, fosters an unparalleled team of deeply experienced in-house experts, and carefully maintains deliberate, hands-on control of every aspect of our work. We are privately-held, people-centric community builders with a genuine passion for creating inspiring spaces that allow communities to thrive like never before.

A long list of company practices, policies, and promises help set Southern Land apart, but there’s one mantra that informs the rest: following through on promises

Talk is cheap. Property development companies claiming to prioritize communities first and foremost is as overused as vows to be “on-time and on-budget.” But when the chips are down, these platitudes are often exactly that . . . platitudes. Which begs the question, what does Southern Land Company really do to preserve and improve the communities they work within?


What does Southern Land Company do to improve their communities?

What improves one community is not always going to improve another. There are common, underlying themes, but at the end of the day what a community wants is extremely unique and community-centric. This reality is precisely why Southern Land takes the time to understand each community’s priorities and needs from a grassroots level, thus impacting everything from environmental cleanup, affordable housing, aesthetic beautification, public space creation, local department aid, or anything in between.

It all starts with our grassroots, ground-up approach. Local impact experts spend multiple years engrossed in communities figuring out the benefits and feasibility of a project and working closely with local groups to determine the best style, design, location, and scope of project to develop. Once a detailed plan that addresses all of the community’s needs, desires, and goals comes to fruition, Southern Land furnishes a “Community Benefits Agreement” that guarantees follow-through.

“It guarantees that we will do exactly what we say,” says Dustin Downey, Southern Land’s Senior VP of Residential. “It gives the community a real sense that they’re not being lied to or white washed in any way, that this is really, fundamentally, exactly what it’s going to be.”

Any sizable change in a community can be daunting or unsettling, no matter how beneficial it may be on paper. That’s why we provide full project transparency and accountability, allowing communities a fundamental understanding of the project and peace of mind every step of the way. 

Large developments can be understandably complex so ensuring that everyone shares a common understanding of exactly what the project entails both eases concerns and gets people rightfully excited about the positive changes ahead.


How does Southern Land follow through on their community promises?

Southern Land’s unique business model allows full top-to-bottom control over every single phase of a project. With an unparalleled in-house team of industry-leading designers, architects, and engineers, Southern Land has the ability to retain full project autonomy from beginning to end.

“The uniqueness of Southern Land’s model is that ultimately we control the process,” says Dustin Downey. “From architecture and engineering, we either do the design ourselves or we have our architects overseeing other architects or our engineers overseeing other engineers.” 

Southern Land’s process ownership doesn’t stop there. “We’re the developer, so we run the financing, the purchase, and the sale, and we’re the contractor and property manager, so we run every aspect of the construction process so that we know the product that we designed and promised is ultimately going to be the end product.”

Landscape architecture and artistry is another unique focus that defines Southern Land’s exceptional devotion to positive community impact. By employing in-house horticulturists while owning our own greenhouses and gardens, Southern Land proves that landscaping is more than simply an aspect of our unique, aesthetically-driven developments — it’s a company passion and a creative nucleus of our overall designs.

Commitment to environmental friendliness certainly doesn’t begin and end with thoughtful horticulture — Southern Land is also one of the few companies with an in-house Sustainability Director, ensuring that renewable energy, environmental rehabilitation and sustainability, and water conservation remain at the forefront of every project.


How is the Port Washington project a case study for Southern Land’s unique approach?

Southern Land’s newest development project in Port Washington, New York is a microcosm for the exact type of opportunities the company identifies: the proposed area is more than a mile away from single-family residences, on a 4-lane road removed from any main feeder roads, and is currently an environmental liability and eye sore in major need of a redo. 

It’s in dire need of an extensive environmental rehabilitation and aesthetic overhaul just far enough removed from the hustle and bustle of Port Washington’s town center to serve as an exciting, new outdoor hub for rowing, boating, picnicking, exploring, learning, exercising, and relaxing.

Like many Southern Land properties, this project includes extensive green spaces accessible and open to the public, fostering a new waterfront micro-community that brings people together in innovative and environmentally responsible ways. 

Not only that, but the area’s high-barrier-for-entry nature means that only a company of Southern Land’s thoroughness, integrity, and grassroots commitment possesses the ability to transform this property into a beautiful, inspiring living space and public area.


Why Southern Land Company? 

Southern Land is a privately-held company, meaning we’re not shackled to strict profit standards like a publicly traded company or massive conglomerate. Likewise, no one is beholden to predetermined deadlines or project parameters. As radical as it may sound, efficiency and trying to squeeze every last dollar out of a project are not the priorities.

By protecting full project autonomy and company flexibility, Southern Land is squarely focused on community improvement and aesthetic beautification to create the best living spaces in the country. Our passion is building artistically designed, thoughtful, and community-centric spaces in high-barrier-to-entry markets that we have the unique ability, integrity, and dedication to access.