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Tillie Galán Borchers: Dallas’ Newest Urban Thought Leader

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Tillie Galán Borchers oversees the GrowSouth Fund, a for-profit community development investment vehicle created to achieve a double bottom‐line mission: an economic return and a civic impact in southern Dallas. Borchers, a Miami native, also acts as a convener for stakeholders, helping them work through investment solutions in the GrowSouth footprint.

On the GrowSouth Fund:

“It’s taken longer than we wanted, but we’ve built good momentum and strong partnerships. We’ve worked hard to establish trust between the community stakeholders and Civitas. That was key. Now we see a pipeline that is robust and will include projects across the GrowSouth footprint.”

On the proposed mental and primary health clinic on city-owned land at Camp Wisdom and Lancaster roads:

“We’re very excited about the project. Civitas has been an integral part of that collaboration, giving guidance on structure, capital, and modeling. We think it’s going to be very successful and truly meet that double bottom line: revenue generating and highly impactful.”

On other cities facing similar challenges:

“I’m studying models that are working in other cities, gathering data about what works and what doesn’t. It’s part of what we always say we do: dig deeper. I just got back from Detroit, and I saw a whole lot of capital flowing into smart urban revitalization projects. The end result is a very intentional, vibrant urban living environment. We believe it’s possible to do the same thing here in Dallas. But it’s going to take collaboration between all the stakeholders: city, nonprofits, communities, and capital providers.”

On impact investing in Dallas:

“We saw EB-5 as an impact investment vehicle from the beginning, so in that sense, we’ve been committed to it for a decade. We are thrilled that so many investors and city stakeholders are starting to see how impactful these opportunities can be. At the end of the day, we all want to make Dallas a fantastic city for everyone. But for us, this isn’t just an idea; it’s a core component of our mission and vision. We view it as part of our role to contribute our skills, our diverse perspectives, to idea generation. Our experience with the GrowSouth Fund has taught us again and again that there are great ideas in the communities we serve. So we convene stakeholders from all over—from academics on both coasts to community leaders in Highland Hills, right here in Dallas—to uncover insights. From there, we develop differentiated investment strategies based on those ideas.

“At Civitas, I have a platform to see a good idea, run with it, and make an impact. I intend to make the most of it.”