Chesapeake Community Advisors


Company:  Chesapeake Community Advisors

Position:  Project Manager

Location:  Michigan (Lansing, Grand Rapids or Detroit)

The Company

Established in 2001, Chesapeake Community Advisors (CCA) is one of the nation’s leading community development consulting firms, having served as a development consultant for nonprofit, for profit and public-sector housing organizations.  CCA has worked on more than 80 developments in 18 states, resulting in more than 7,000 new or renovated apartment units. In that time, CCA’s development work has included affordable multifamily and mixed income rental, historic renovations, affordable homeownership and multi-use developments. Since 2001, CCA has worked in the state of Michigan and currently has over 15 LIHTC projects in various stages of the development process that represent nearly  1,500 apartment units. CCA anticipates continued growth in development work for this market. 

CCA specializes in structuring and developing low-income, historic, new market tax credit and federally financed projects. In its role as developers and owners of affordable residential properties, CCA brings a unique understanding to the development process for both new construction and preservation.  Its services include the following:

  1. Development and Preservation of Affordable Housing – CCA provides support from the early stages of identifying project team members through construction and permanent financing. 
  • Finding the optimal mix of credits, bonds and grants
  • Oversight of a project to maximize profits and minimize risk
  • Matching developers with investors
  • Identifying potential new construction sites or multifamily acquisition opportunities, initial deal feasibility analyses and contract negotiations

2. Real Estate Consulting, Syndication and Underwriting

  • LIHTC fund management and syndication
  • Underwriting
  • Project assessments
  • Consulting work for equity funds, CDC’s and institutional investors
  • Assistance in fulfilling state and federal requirements
  • Negotiation of partnership and development agreements

3. Exit Strategies, Workouts and Dispositions – CCA provides support to development teams when they are winding up partnership agreements and helps develop the best possible exit strategy. 

  • Support to developers and investors after the 10-year LIHTC and/or 15-year credit expiration
  • Restructure and refinance of failed investments
  • Assistance to developers and investors when exiting from Limited Partnership agreements

Additional information regarding CCA can be found at:

The Position

Chesapeake Community Advisors is looking to add an experienced Project Manager to their team, who will further develop CCA’s presence in Michigan and oversee multiple current projects in Southeast Michigan, particularly in the Lansing area. CCA has several clients across the state of Michigan, has a robust pipeline of projects, and sees ongoing growth potential in this market.  This Project Manager will be working remotely, ideally located in close proximity to Lansing, Grand Rapids, or Detroit, though will work closely with the firm’s leadership and staff, based in its Baltimore headquarters office, in a highly collaborative and supportive environment. 

The position provides a unique opportunity to:

  • Join a highly regarded and growing organization with a diverse, national client roster.
  • Gain broad and deep development experience with exposure to complex financing and development matters and a large volume of projects.
  • Contribute to creating the next generation of housing and community innovation.

The Project Manager reports to John Schuster III, Vice President, and will have primary responsibility for the development of several projects in Michigan and participate with other Project Managers in development of other projects in the state and other regions, as needed. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Assess new opportunities, including:
  • Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP) analysis, serving as an expert for the state of Michigan.
  • Identifying and assessing zoning/rezoning issues.
  • Transaction structuring and underwriting.
  • Coordinate with property management company to ensure that programmatic issues with respect to maintenance, operations, and the provision of services are adequately addressed.
  • Relationship building/management with internal and external partners and other stakeholders.
  • Assessing market feasibility.
  • Determining financial feasibility, including:

a) Pro forma analysis

b) Profitability analysis

  • Present  proposed transaction internally and coordinate approvals prior to Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) application submissions.

2. Perform, coordinate and/or lead pre-development process, including:

  • Participate in resident informational meetings.
  • Preliminary architecture and site design.
  • Resolution of zoning issues.
  • Developing local government support.
  • Developing community support.
  • Assist in preparing and submitting financing packages including: 
    1. LIHTC
    2. Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD)
    3. Tax-exempt bonds 
    4. HOME, CDBG, FHLB / AHP grants, and other appropriate funding sources 

3. Manage development process:

  • Coordinate closely with the design, property management, finance, and construction teams to ensure a financially and operationally viable development product, delivered in a timely and cost efficient manner.

4. Coordinate all financial aspects of each development project:

  • Maintain up-to-date pro formas that accurately reflect the project budget and financing plan.
  • Obtain financing for completion of the development, including Section 42 LIHTC tax credit financing, RAD, HOME Funds, CDBG Funds, AHP Funds, and other funding sources as needed.
  • Manage project costs throughout the pre-development process.
  • Obtain formal approval of budget prior to implementation.
  • Ensure long term viability by budgeting adequate reserves and operating expenses in consultation with partner property management staff.
  • Ensure assumptions and clear documentation of any zoning and QAP/LIHTC application commitments.
  • Maintain close relationships with all third parties and clients, CCA staff, government officials, community members, and state HFAs.

5. Develop and maintain Region presence

  • Act as CCA’s representative in the Michigan marketplace. 
  • Maintain relationships with potential sellers, investors, and other potential sources of business (e.g., attorneys, banks, and brokers).
  • Work with local officials to identify possible development opportunities and sources of capital for such opportunities. 
  • Maintain current knowledge of affordable housing, mixed income, mixed-use, and related residential housing markets in the region to identify development opportunities for both direct and joint venture developments, working with state and local officials, brokers, lenders, peers, and others.
  • Attend relevant professional conferences and similar activities.  Make presentations if required.

Candidate Qualifications and Experience

Education: A Bachelor’s degree (BA/BS) is required. An MBA or equivalent degree in business, real estate, architecture, planning, and/or finance is a plus, but not required.

Experience: Minimum three to five years of experience in affordable multifamily housing with a proven track record of allocations and closings, and the regulations and financing programs applicable to the industry. 

  • The ability to handle the entire development process – from site control through entitlement, design, construction, lease-up, and stabilization. The ideal candidate will have taken several projects through the entire development process.
  • Experience in conceptualizing, site planning, and programming multifamily developments.
  • Experience in all phases of the new construction development and substantial rehabilitation process.
  • Strong entitlement skills. Has the ability to develop and execute community outreach programs; build relationships with civic and political leaders/influencers; and act as a community liaison to build awareness and support for proposed development projects. Experience working with diverse constituencies, including community-based and tenant organizations.
  • Real estate finance expertise. Section 42 LIHTC finance is required. Able to create project pro formas and articulate, both orally and in written form, the case for a specific project. Should have both an intuitive and a detailed sense of the dynamics, risks, and structured financing of each transaction. 
  • Experience managing diverse internal and external teams on complex development projects. 
  • Ability to work as a member of the CCA team as well as be a self-motivator to work independently. This role will have occasional travel to the Mid-Atlantic.

For more information on this opportunity, please contact Terra Search Partners:

Greg Melanson, Partner, 202.601.1503 or

Ally Sherman, Principal, 949.413.9928 or

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