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To someone passing by, the apartments at 5200 E. Lancaster look nothing but average: two stories, black doors and a black railing around the sides. There may even be children playing in the common grass area in the center of the complex.
But it wasn’t always like this.
“The police was out here everyday,” said a resident who asked her name not be used. “Literally every day. A lot of people wanted to do drugs.”
Enter 4D Circle: a new company focused on bringing people, businesses and natural resources together in order to make more profitable properties and improve the quality of life for the residents.
“We find that if we put them all together they do better as a whole then apart,” 4D circle CEO Mant Hawkins said. “If you make life better for people and make it more affordable for them, they’ve more receptive to what business has to say and what we’re trying to do.”


Hawkins said his organization tries to achieve this by finding properties that have the most potential to increase profitability and increase the standard of living for the residents.
They find these properties by using layers and layers of data, Hawkins said. These properties are usually found in what Hawkins calls the “metropolitan zone,” the area between the business district of the city and the suburbs.

4D Circle then works to make the buildings more efficient through projects like repairing water pipes or fixing leaky windows.
The property on Lancaster had a water leak that no one could find when 4D Circle bought the property; however, Hawkins said they were able to find and repair the leak by running a video camera through the pipes. After the pipe was fixed, Hawkins said less water was being wasted, decreasing tenants’ water bills.
“It’s really simple stuff but no one does it because that cost money,” Hawkins said. “We can save on water, electricity, gas, and require fewer service calls by making the building more efficient. That makes us more profitable because we don’t have to hire as many people to fix things when they are breaking.”

Hawkins said they then pass out these extra profits to lower the cost of living for tenants and increase returns for investors. They also focus on improving the quality of life by partnering with nonprofits in the area.
One way is through having nonprofits visit the properties. During an event at the Lancaster apartments Saturday, representatives from The Women’s Center of Tarrant County, Martin Luther King Jr. Neighborhood Center, the City of Fort Worth’s Community Action Partners and Goodwill offered residents information on programs and services they provided.

“We just want to be a resource for people who live in the complex so they can know more about our services and what we have to offer,” Goodwill employee PaulAnn Paterson said. “We love doing events like this.”
Those services include retail services, job hunting skills (such as resume reviews or practice interviews) and their special veteran assistance program, Paterson said.
For the City of Fort Worth Community Action partners, their similar goals is what drew them to their partnership with 4D Circle.
“The concept that they have about changing inner city, low income housing to being energy efficient to allow people to have reasonable rent, to provide resources to me was a no brainer,” Marie Francis, a Human Services Coordinator at City of Fort Worth, said. “We had to partner because that’s what we do. We try to transition people out of poverty.”
In addition to partnering with non profits, 4D Circle works with the Fort Worth Police and Fire Departments.  According to data from the FWPD, crime against property decreased by 56 percent and crime against society decreased by 50 percent  at the Normont Circle property a year after 4D acquired the property.
“They [tenants] normally only see police officers in the worst of situations so they lose the idea that police officers are here to serve,” Hawkins said. “We’re trying to build trust so that we can increase engagement and help each other in what we’re trying to do.”
The company is looking to expand their business model. Hawkins said they are buying two more properties in Fort Worth in the coming month along with an office building in Oklahoma City.
“We really want to try and get quick wins that mean a lot to people so we can tell our story,” Hawkins said.
A story a resident from the Lancaster apartments said she is happy to be a part of.
“I love the changes since it’s safe for my kids now,” she said. “Now it’s people that want to help you and want to be people in life.”