Chicago native Quintin Primo aspired to become an entrepreneur at an early age; a dream that stemmed from watching his father preach in the pulpit during church. Throughout his childhood, Primo’s father instilled in him the skills he needed to be a successful businessman. His father’s words of wisdom combined with his bachelor’s of science degree in finance (with honors) from Indiana University and his master in business administration from Harvard Law School, equipped him with the tools he needed to take on the world of business. This month, Primo spoke with the L.A. Sentinel to discuss the recent developments at his firm, Capri Investment Group, and how he continues to successfully run one of the largest Black private equity firms in the country!
Primo’s interest in business was sparked at an early age but it was faith that allowed him to seek out his passion.
“My father was extremely entrepreneurial as a pastor of a church. I think that watching him in action…those skills kind of transferred to me and they have been very valuable,” said Primo. “Also, I think that as an entrepreneur and an owner of a business, you have to have tremendous faith and certainly faith in your own ability, faith in pursuing the right path, and faith that things are going to turn out in the end.”
Primo’s faith and skillset led him to co-founding Capri Investment Group which is now a 26-year-old company. The number one mission at Capri Investment Group is to improve the communities they are investing in which includes locally and globally, primarily in India.
“When [we] co-founded the firm many years ago, all we really knew was real estate investment. So we planned to start a firm that focused exclusively on real estate investment,” he said.
“It’s not enough for us to simply make money for our investors, or money for ourselves but every life that we touch, every community that we invest in, we want to be better off because we were there. That gets us up in the morning.
The Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza Master Plan
Primo and his partner built Capri Investment Group to serve the communities that are often overlooked. Over time, the two decided to bring the mission of their Chicago-based company to the city of Los Angeles which led to the development of the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Master Plan. The plan, which was approved by the city council, will allow the firm to redevelop up to three million square feet.
“We had so many extraordinary projects. But I have to say, without a doubt, that the most complex, the most difficult, the most challenging, but the most extraordinary and the most enjoyable investment project that we have ever been involved with is Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza shopping center in South L.A.,” said Primo.
Since the firm’s management of the retail area, the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw mall has received an upgrade. Capri was able to accomplish modern upgrades like changing the Magic Johnson Theatres to Cinemark. Other upgrades include the addition of the Post & Beam restaurant, Chipotle, Victoria’s Secret, PINK, TJ Maxx and an expansion of Forever 21. Capri was also at the forefront of working with local businesses to bring in companies like Southern Girl Desserts and Mexicano by Jaime and Ramiro and community programs like free concerts, the Pan African Film and Arts festival, free fitness events, the Kids Club, health fairs and a weekly Farmers Market.
Although the firm has owned the property for 12 years, it has taken them eight years to receive full approval. Now that city council has signed off on the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza Master Plan, Primo and his team can continue on with their vision of transforming the community.
The project is said to have an open air retail village, a 400-room hotel, a 10-story office building, a new grocery store, an improved pedestrian experience, and new mixed-income residences which include condominiums and apartments. The firm also plans to remove the perimeter rod iron fencing.
According to the investment firm, the project is estimated to provide “hundreds of millions of dollars in direct investment for the Crenshaw are and contribute to vital tax revenue for the region.” All of these developments will be joined with Metro’s Crenshaw/ LAX Line with an entrance to the station on the west side of Crenshaw.
“This project will be a legacy aspect for our firm. Over the next ten years, we hope to transform the actual asset and we hope to have a very positive effect on the Crenshaw Baldwin Hills community and the city of L.A.,” said Primo.
“This will be the largest redevelopment project in the city of L.A. and one of the largest and most impactful [redevelopments] in the Unites States.”
Charitable Work and Commitment to the Community
When Primo is taking the time to work on redevelopment projects at Capri, you can find him doing charitable work. One particular non-profit that is close to his heart is Primo Center for Women and Children. The center, which operates in Chicago, is a permanent supportive housing organization for the homeless. Additionally, the center has transitional and shorter term housing. The Primo Center for Women and Children is accomplishing this through what they call, “trauma enforced care.”
“We are seeking to end homelessness in the city of Chicago,” said Primo. “Now we have been invited to bring the work we are doing in Chicago to the cities of New York and L.A. Both cities are experiencing significant homeless issues.”
Although Primo is a Chicago native, his track record proves that his commitment to helping others has traveled from state-to-state with faith at the forefront of everything he touches.
For more information on the Crenshaw Baldwin Hills Plaza Master Plan, please visit https://transformingbhc.com/. To learn about other Capri investment projects log on to http://capri.global/.