About Stephen Porras
For eight years prior to founding Axia, Mr. Porras had lead responsibility for the planning, acquisition, financing and development of workforce housing and mixed-income/mixed finance properties at Related Midwest LLC (formerly LR Development Company LLC) a large, vertically-integrated residential development firm based in Chicago.
(Accomplishments Related Midwest)
For ten years, he headed up the New York and California acquisitions operations of the National Equity Fund, a leading syndicator of the federal low-income housing tax credit (Accomplishments NEF). He also worked six years as a lending officer and executive for the City of New York in its Housing Preservation and Development department.
Mr. Porras graduated from the Texas Tech University School of Architecture with a Bachelor of Architecture, received a Master of Science degree in Urban Planning from Columbia University in New York and completed post-graduate studies at the Anderson School of Management of the University of California at Los Angeles. In between his architecture and urban planning degrees, Mr. Porras also practiced architecture in Texas.
Mr. Porras is:
- A member of the Board of Directors of The Resurrection Project -- a non-profit community development corporation based in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago;
- A member of the Board of Governors of the Metropolitan Planning Council -- a Chicago-based nonprofit organization concerned with regional growth and development policies;
- A former member of the Board of Directors of the Illinois Housing Council -- a trade organization representing the Illinois workforce housing industry;
- A former member of the Citizens Advisory Council to the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning -- northeast Illinois’ regional planning agency.
AccomplishmentsMr. Porras' accomplishments during his tenure at Related Midwest included:
- Managing the successful RFP response for rights to develop a six-phase $700 million, 2,000+ unit mixed-use and mixed-income development in Chicago utilizing federal tax credits, conventional, city, and HOPE VI soft debt, and TIF. Project managing to completion one phase each of workforce rental housing and mixed-income homeownership.
- Managing the successful zoning approval process and garnering preliminary financing commitments for an 80-unit mixed use high rise condominium in Chicago utilizing conventional debt, developer equity and TIF. The deal was put on hold due to market conditions.
- Managing the successful final plat and public report approvals of for a 500-unit market rate master-planned condominium development in Tucson, AZ. The deal was put on hold due to market conditions.
- Managing the successful RFP response for rights to develop and zoning approval process for a 200-unit mixed use transit oriented development in Orland Park, IL. Only the public infrastructure portion of the project was completed; the residential and retail components were put on hold due to market conditions.
- Completing development of a $42 million mixed income HOPE VI development in Peoria, IL.
- Completing development of a $17 million affordable rental development in the Humboldt Park community of Chicago.
- Coordinating the acquisition of a 12-property portfolio of HUD-assisted properties with expiring S.8 contracts.
- Coordinating a team of consultants to acquire the assets of a property management company valued at $1 million.
- Co-managing placement of a single-year record $290 million in equity investments.
- Managing a team responsible for a portfolio of equity investments valued at $760 million.
- Increasing investor equity from $40 million to $69 million over three years.
- Managing a team in the placement of $130 million of equity investments in developments valued at $315 million.
- Managing an eight-person team of underwriters and rehab specialists that increased production to $75 million over three years.
- Underwriting and closing $15 million in loans over three years.
"Steve has incredibly strong organizational skills and is able to lay out a clear development timeline and path with key milestones in every type of development, from affordable housing to market-rate housing. In addition, through his experience and the many relationships he has developed over the years, Steve is able to easily navigate HUD, IHDA and the various other local, state and federal agencies – a skill required to effectively develop, finance and manage profitable affordable housing developments. Steve's depth and breadth of experience his experience and the many relationships he has developed over the years, Steve is able to easily navigate HUD, IHDA and the various other local, state and federal agencies – a skill required to effectively develop, finance and manage profitable housing developments. Steve's depth and breadth of experience in real estate development, unquestionable integrity and team-oriented personality made him an invaluable contributor to Related Midwest."
Theodore T. Weldon III Principal,
WeeksWeldon Development Company
"Stephen is a thorough strategic thinker and communicates honestly, yet diplomatically. His knowledge of tax-credit projects and markets nationwide is impressive, and as a problem-solver he is peerless."
Amanda Coplan Peña,
(Formerly) Acquisitions Manager,
National Equity Fund