Uplifting Local Stories and an IVP Update

The world was turned upside down in the first quarter of 2020. The news headlines are surreal, almost as if you are watching a frightening science fiction movie. We don’t want to downplay reality, but for a few minutes, let’s be inspired by some amazing people among us.

First, a personal story:

At Ironvest Partners, we own, manage, and lease Crestwood Village, a 36,000 SF neighborhood shopping center full of family owned, small businesses. Most of these businesses have been mandated to shut down. These owners have lost customer interaction, opportunity to work, and cash flow to name a few. Sure, the government may help some, but the big picture reality is rough. My partner Jaren Aksut and I came up with a program that essentially forgives April and May rent and adds two months of rent at the end of the lease. For most tenants, this was more than appropriate, but we have two tenants, Crestwood Pharmacy and the Vineyard (grocery/convenience store), that have not been affected by the Coronavirus. As I called to tell the owners of these businesses what we were doing and to give them the same opportunity I had given to the other tenants, their response was shocking. They said, “Robert, our business has not been affected. We know this free rent period must be a big blow for you and Jaren. We want to continue paying our rent. Thank you so much for your offer.” My head was spinning and my heart was filled with admiration and joy. They declined an offer that would certainly have helped them to help us. During this time and long after this is over, let’s all think of ways to serve our neighbor like these businesses have.

Below are a few local stories that I am encouraged by and thought you might be too:

Lawnmower Guy now does Deliveries, too


Rodney Smith Jr., the founder of the nonprofit Raising Men Lawn Care Service, continues mowing as many yards in the Huntsville area as possible. Only now, in addition to mowing for the elderly, disabled, single mothers, and veterans free of charge, Rodney is delivering food and supplies as well. “I mow lawns, drop (food and supplies) off and go,” Smith said in a phone interview with AL.com. But he doesn’t leave before taking a quick selfie with his clients as they peek out at their newly trimmed lawns. It used to be that Rodney would give a quick hug before he left. Hugs are now forbidden, and he uses a selfie stick to take a photo from a safe, six-foot distance.

Strangers Act of Kindness at Grocery Store 


Shopper Melina Wray-Pylant in Cullman witnessed a man named Adam in line with a large cart full of groceries. Wray-Pylant said Adam allowed the next two people in line behind him to put their items ahead of his on the conveyor. When each went ahead, he informed the cashier that he would be paying for their items along with his. Both parties urged Adam that his actions were not necessary, but he insisted and just left each with “you have a blessed day.”

These stories get me fired up. Times are tough right now, but we can all make a difference. Let’s serve one another and especially those most affected. At IVP, we have recently given to The UAB Coronavirus Support Fund and, they are doing amazing work locally in these dark times. Find their links below and see if there might be a way you could give to or serve them.


In closing, let’s talk a little commercial real estate. At IVP, we had a good first quarter as seen by our deal flow, but unfortunately, we see Q2 and Q3 being very difficult. The positive side of that is we will likely see the Fall and Winter of this year have some of the best opportunities to buy real estate since the Great Recession. If you are in a good cash position and willing to take on some risk, we would be happy to discuss how IVP can be a resource for you. Additionally, we are still looking to hire a few agents. If you know someone that wants a sales role in the commercial real estate industry, please have them contact us anytime.