Better Know a CRE: K. “Teya” Moore, CRE®

Welcome to another edition of Better Know a CRE. This series serves as a spotlight for Counselors of Real Estate leadership with the goal of helping fellow counselors and others learn more about the organization, its happenings, and its history.

Given his focus on affordable housing, an issue often highlighted in different ways in the Counselors’ annual Top Ten Issues Affecting Real Estate — it is fitting that we choose Liaison Vice Chair and Board Director, Kieyasien Moore, Esq., CRE® as our next interviewee. Mr. Moore is Managing Partner at Moore & Associates, and his extensive industry leadership includes serving on the Boards of Directors for EBDI and CCIM.

Moore & Associates handles a broad array of high-level matters relating to bank and SEC regulations, and commercial real estate investment operations along the East Coast and within the Mid-Atlantic region. Areas of concentration include investment fund formations and venture capital transactions, commercial real estate law and brokerage, bank regulatory services and government contracting.

Mr. Moore shares perspective with Real Estate Issues about his career experiences, influences, as well as the issue of affordable housing and why it is so important.

What attracted you to a career in commercial real estate?

After my appointment in 2002 to East Baltimore Development, Inc. (EBDI), a nonprofit established under the direction of the Mayor of Baltimore City, Governor of the State of  Maryland, and Johns Hopkins Hospital (JHH) et al., it was sink or swim as a member of the board and executive committee in charge of overseeing the redevelopment of East Baltimore and expansion of a biotech park and mixed-use community abutting JHH.

How would you describe the way (s) you learned the ropes?

As one would imagine two (2) mentors – Mark Pollak, a real estate partner at Ballard Spahr and Doug Nelson, President of the Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF) – were a tremendous resource that I relied on heavily in my early years.  

Knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently in your career?

CRE is a significant area of concentration, and I would have made a greater commitment earlier on if I had known how important CRE would become in my legal career.

Describe a meaningful activity, service, or story from your tenure as a CRE.

A meaningful activity involved my serving as counselor to a family-owned learning center in Silver Spring, Maryland and supporting their attempts to redevelop several land parcels in order to grow and advance their operations. I was not just their attorney but their counselor. They had to struggle through working with a number of professionals, they had to manage their budget, and they had to continue operations.

I am very proud not only to have served as their legal counsel but their counsel in general. Giving the family the encouragement they needed to become the largest advanced learning center in the United States today.

What is one accomplishment or project kicked off or completed that you are proud of?

I guess it would be the first major real estate transaction in my life. In 2002, I was appointed by the Governor and the Mayor, the Governor was a Republican, the Mayor was a Democrat. They asked me to serve on a board to represent 1,300 families that were about to be involuntarily relocated in East Baltimore to make way for the redevelopment of a Biotech Park for John Hopkins University. I sat on that board with a number of politicos and stakeholders who were more focused on bricks and mortar, not so much the social impact that relocating 1,300 families would have, both on the community and the family themselves.

And I think one of the reasons I chose this transaction to highlight is because I was ill-equipped to handle that transaction and I had to reach out for help. And I remember approaching AECF, a $24 billion private foundation in Baltimore and speaking to Doug Nelson who was the President. I sat down with Doug and said this is quite a challenge for me. I was in my young 30s and I had never represented a whole community that was about to be involuntarily relocated.

It was because of the AECF and their heartfelt attempts to not only represent that community but make sure the board didn’t just represent the bricks and mortar of a project but actually the social dynamics that were going to be impacted by the project that we were successful. Today, that serves as a model nationwide on how to handle relocation programs and policies in addition to inner city development. I played a small part there and I’m very proud of that.

Discuss your perspective on a significant challenge or opportunity the industry is facing.

Affordable housing- it’s part of our Top Ten Issues Affecting Real Estate and has been for some time. Everyone in the country realizes the need for affordable housing. We just don’t have the ability to meet the demand.

Growing up in a single parent household in New York City– mother passed away when I was 18 so I had to continue that journey by myself– and I realized the importance of having a place to lay your head. A place where you can kind of have some comfort and think through all the difficult challenges you have as an individual whether it be school, or job, or family.

Housing is critical. And we need to really address that challenge and we need to overcome the challenge of families and individuals who are homeless and who are unable to put shelter over their head. It’s one of the biggest issues the industry faces, has faced, and will continue to face.

What advice do you have for young professionals entering the industry today?

Develop relationships early and often and do not be afraid to give time and to freely contribute when able to worthwhile causes that enable you to develop the skills required to advance your career in CRE.

How do you define leadership?

The ability and willingness to set the example in service to others or your organization or for a cause to reach and attain higher goals for the community.

Who has been the most influential person in your life-known or admired?

My mother and Sister Francis.

How do you like to relax during your time off?

Baseball, of course.