In Los Angeles, the problem of power washing and painting over graffiti in public spaces totals an annual cost of over $7 million dollars. Graffiti is linked to lower property values, neighborhood avoidance and escalated gang activity.
Intuitive Real Estate Solutions, LLC, is a Los Angeles based company that has provided an array of real estate-related services to both private and public entities. Part of these contracted duties include stewardship and management of vacant properties. Time and again, Joe Williams, Founder and CEO of Inuitive RES, found himself mitigating the problem of graffiti on the properties he managed.
Williams’ innovative solution to the problem of graffiti? The discovery and implementation of artificial foliage as both deterrent and preventative agent against graffiti.
In 2017, Williams presented his design for artificial foliage to the Office of Extraordinary Innovation, a division of LA Metro that identifies innovative solutions in the marketplace that may help further Metro’s mission, vision and strategic goals.
Through his network, Williams met Joe Rouzan, President and CEO of Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation, and had the opportunity to introduce his company, need for funding, and hear about VSEDC’s mission and services. As a result, Williams worked with VSEDC to secure a loan in record time. The loan made it possible for Williams to land his first contract with LA Metro in 2019, thus launching GreenCape, a DBA (Doing Business As) he created to better identify the nature of his contracted work.
“GreenCaping” is now the phrase used to describe the act of installing eco-friendly low maintenance artificial foliage which instantly beautifies the surroundings. GreenCape has provided three tangible solutions to the problem of tagging and graffiti:
- GreenCape prevents tagging and minimizes its associated financial and environmental costs.
- GreenCape improves ambience through enhanced appearance and reduced reflected heat.
- GreenCape provides immediate, low-maintenance, long-term coverage that lasts.
Williams is now on his third contract with LA Metro, with the most recent contract renewal in November 2022. GreenCape has a proven track record of success with both public and private contracts; VSEDC has even contracted GreenCape to outfit our offices with their signature artificial foliage. GreenCape now has its eyes on expansion, and Williams has returned to work with VSEDC and his business coach, Terry Gubatan.
Williams and Gubatan are in the midst of loan preparation and documentation to secure another round of funding for GreenCape. Gubatan says of the process, “[Williams] has his act together, it’s his world and he’s a professional.”
As for Williams’ experience, he says, “I’ve worked with VSEDC for several years, and worked closely with Terry. Terry is easy-going and we have a good relationship, plus he has good insight and experience that has assisted me. I’ve never had an issue contracting with VSEDC.”
Williams has multiple goals for this new round of funding. GreenCape is involved with both California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) in Los Angeles (District 7) and San Diego (District 11). Los Angeles has identified areas they want covered by GreenCape, and for San Diego, the proposal is in progress. “Caltrans has approximately 52,000 miles of right-way throughout the state. Our goal is to beautify and make safe a significant number of the miles. Each mile we capture produces significant revenue,” says Williams. “In light of the Olympics coming to Los Angeles, we aim to solve the Caltrans graffiti problem.”
In addition to contracts with Caltrans, Williams is in talks with groups outside of Phoenix, Arizona, and Las Vegas, Nevada. Currently, the GreenCape team is comprised of eight members, split into administrative and field roles. “We are looking to expand,” says Williams. “We’ve identified the kind of team we’re going to need to take on these new projects. By 2025, our team members will exceed twenty.”
GreenCape is providing innovative solutions to problems that plague our community, and creating jobs in the process. VSEDC is eager to see Joe Williams and company continue to succeed.