Category Archives: real estate

In Minneapolis, a New Building Mixes Impact and Beer

A new initiative in Minneapolis is bringing the idea of mixed use development to social entrepreneurship. FINNEGANS House, a newly opened building in downtown Minneapolis that is part of a bigger development project, combines a brewery with a space for the local impact community to connect and grow. Finnegan’s House is the brainchild of Jacquie […]

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Small Change: The Crowdfunding Site That Makes Neighborhoods Better Places to Live

Eve Picker is an architect, city planner, urban designer and real estate developer, among other accomplishments. Her passion for community development and smart, sustainable design led her in 2016 to found Small Change, a Pittsburgh-based real estate crowdfunding site. We caught up with Eve recently to discuss financing transformational projects—such as the affordable starter home […]

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Crowdfunding, Guerrilla-Style. Lessons From Jolene’s First Cousin.

When Guerrilla Development opened up crowdfunding for its latest project, a two-building mixed-use development called Jolene’s First Cousin, the team figured there would be strong demand. An earlier project, the Fair-Haired Dumbbell (they have a penchant for quirky names to go along with their iconoclastic buildings), raised $1.5 million from 121 investors in eight months, […]

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Affordable Housing: Who Will Fill the Funding Gap?

Affordable housing development has been disrupted by new tax reform legislation, leaving a void in funding. New financing tools are needed for fill the gap. The Section 42 Housing Tax Credit Program (LIHTC) will be significantly impacted by the changes to the tax code. These credits encourage affordable housing and have funded over three million […]

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In Oakland, Community-Owned Real Estate is Bucking Gentrification Trend

For two decades now, the building at the corner of 23rd and International avenues in east Oakland has been a community hub for people and organizations with few other places to go. In a neighborhood that is low-income and majority people of color—flanked to the east by the largely Latino/Hispanic Fruitvale district and to the […]

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For Real Estate Lender Groundfloor, It’s Slow and Steady and Open to All

Real estate has been one of the hottest areas of crowdfunding, although most of it is focused on wealthy “accredited” investors who put money into funds, known as REITs. (And let’s face it, accredited investors don’t lack investment options!) Just two platforms allow direct investing by unaccredited investors. One is Pittsburgh-based Small Change, which uses […]

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A Fund Where Investors and Homeowners Both Win

The mortgage crisis might seem like a distant memory, but in some ways, American families are more vulnerable than ever. More than 83,000 new families are impacted by foreclosure every month. Nationwide, one in every 200 homes goes into foreclosure. Jorge Newbery is out to change that. His company, American Homeowner Preservation (AHP), buys distressed mortgages […]

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Four Ways to Create a Community-Scale Investment Fund in 2017

Community capital is about empowerment of communities. It is a set of strategies that allows ventures to raise capital from their ideal investors within their own community, allows anyone of virtually any economic class to invest in their community, and allows communities to build wealth though a cycle of investment, growth, profit, and reinvestment. Community […]

A Crowdfunding Platform For Equitable Real Estate

“I like the grittiness of cities,” says Eve Picker, a Pittsburgh resident of 31 years who maintains a healthy Australian twang. “I like to think about places that have been left behind. What will it take to get people to put their money into places like that?” For Picker, it’s not just a rhetorical question. […]

Placemaking and the Battle For Human Scale Cities

The way we build matters. Sterile megastructures stress people out, and the domineering ‘architecture of doom’ favored by Hitler is still casting dark shadows across the globe. Contrast that to a streetscape that invites people to linger, sit and interact—a street with a human scale environment. In this piece, Stephen Burke of the nonprofit Project […]