February 2015

The Do-It-Yourselves Downtown: Real Estate Investment Cooperatives

Real estate investment cooperatives are a new but growing model that holds outsize potential for a familiar set of problems, from business districts languishing half-vacant, to essential commercial spaces being controlled by far-away landlords or big retail chains with no regard for neighborhood needs. In the vacuum left by both traditional economic development and Wall Street's approach to finance, community real estate investment cooperatives offer a glimpse of a better way to channel capital, with benefits that include new jobs in the neighborhood, strong incentives for people to shop locally, local sources for key goods, closer ties with neighbors, and a return on investment.

This article looks at existing models, and also provides resources for other communities to start a real estate investment cooperative themselves.

Author: Olivia LaVecchia

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