Uber’s Founder Races Towards Parking Lots

  • There are $10 trillion in distressed properties around the world
  • Black households foreclosure rate was at 7.9% post 2008

The world might want to buckle up because Travis Kalanick has found his next gig. The former Uber CEO is now at the helm of City Storage Systems. He placed $150 million into the holding company which rehabs distressed properties. Are we looking at the future upending of another industry at Kalanick’s hand?

Why This Matters: Picture a parking lot in your neighborhood that is specifically designed for autonomous vehicles. Kalanick has set out to repurpose the $10 trillion in distressed assets for a future where this kind of parking lot exists. His effectiveness in accomplishing this aim can greatly impact the black community, where investor-owned properties are often boarded up in black neighborhoods. For example, in Washington, D.C. this is the case for nearly 60 percent investor-owned properties in black neighborhoods.

The highest concentration of distressed properties in the U.S. are in communities of color. In the wake of the Great Recession of 2008, black households foreclosed on their properties at a rate of 7.9%., the national average was 5.3%. Investors like The Blackstone Group (BX -1.49%) swooped in to purchase $10 billion worth of these type of properties. The outstanding question is to what extent will black people in those communities have a say in how Kalanick repurposes these distressed properties for future use.

What’s Next: Look out for the diversity of the team Kalanick builds for his new company. One of his last hires at Uber was Bozoma Saint John as the company’s Chief Brand Officer. Will we see him continue to bring on people of color in executive roles at City Storage Systems? That could tell us a lot about how he will approach preparing real estate for the digital future.

CBx Vibe: “Buy Back the Block” Rick Ross feat. 2 Chainz and Gucci Mane