Thursday, December 27, 2012
Group working to connect investors to Portland neighborhood infill projects
Tom Osdoba, a consultant who was recently named vice president of green initiatives with affordable housing company Columbia, Md.-based Enterprise Community Partners, is leading the effort.
"We've been working on this for over a year," Osdoba said.
Guerilla has half-dozen neighborhood-oriented developers lined up who are looking to raise money for community-scale projects that mix housing with retail and other uses. Now the group aims to find investors to connect with those developers.
"There should be a platform for investors interested in community development," said Osdoba, who is the former director of the Center for Sustainable Business Practices at the Lundquist College of Business at the University of Oregon.
The idea for the effort began when MBA students Osdoba was working with at UO collaborated on a project with Mercy Corps NW which became a neighborhood real estate investment trust focused on the Lents neighborhood and launched earlier this year.
The idea crystallized further when Osdoba heard the story of the Eco Flats project, a bike-friendly, mixed-use apartment building on North Williams.
The developers behind that project, Jean-Pierre Veillet and Doug Shapiro, told Osdoba, "It took us two years to get our financing in place. It took us 30 days to lease the building."
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Article by Christina Williams