In 2016, Pimlico Capital owners Victor Lipnitsky and Aron Yehuda were introduced to King Awonusi and Usman Jan of Federal Hill-based Integrity Real Estate Group. Usman was born in Pakistan and immigrated to NY with his family when he was six months old. He graduated from Howard HS, attended Towson University, and his first job out of college was as a loan officer. King was born and raised in Baltimore and attended local Morgan State University. King’s first job post-college was at an economics research company, where he first met Usman. King and Usman ultimately started a company together, at first doing one fix and flip at a time. Before long, they were doing 20 rehabs per year. King and Usman’s business has been focused on communities that can benefit from reinvigoration. Approximately 75% of the rehabs that King and Usman do are located within the heart of Baltimore City, with the remainder in surrounding Baltimore County and nearby Washington, DC.
The impact on local communities by real estate investors such as King and Usman cannot be understated. At one point, King and Usman identified four homes within a two-block radius that required rehabbing. Working within a particular neighborhood allowed King and Usman to develop relationships and synergies with community members. They have even lent a hand with helping community members with projects such as waterproofing their basements. King and Usman have worked on projects in two zip codes in particular, enabling them to contribute to transforming the value of those neighborhoods. Where values used to hover around $165K, they were closer to $200K after King and Usman had worked in those areas.
King and Usman’s efforts within the local community are varied and many. In addition to lending a hand to neighbors with smaller projects, they also helped local landlords to renovate units, transforming them into attractive and welcoming living spaces. Their turnkey renovations have been rented out to Section 8 tenants. King and Usman have also volunteered their rehab expertise to local nonprofit St. Vincent de Paul, whose services include rapid rehousing and permanent supportive housing efforts on behalf of the homeless population. In fact, Integrity Real Estate Group was founded in 2015 on the principle of giving back: “uplifting the communities of Maryland Washington, D.C. one home at a time.”
Pimlico Capital is proud to partner with borrowers like King and Usman, and the feeling is mutual. King and Usman reported that Pimlico Refinance is “just our speed and family oriented.” They described the relationship as a win-win, with Pimlico Capital providing valuable advice on their projects and King and Usman gladly referring business their way. King and Usman declared that it is “awesome” working with Pimlico Capital and that there is no lending partner they would rather work with.