Real estate coaches and agents…how about stretching your imaginations and your real estate skills to help solve a community problem? Here is one real estate development company that is doing just that.

The Guerrilla Development Company in Portland, OR is a real estate company that defines itself as a “risk taker,” a “model breaker,” a “culture maker.” The company blends good real estate development skills with good design skills with good financial returns…and no, the three are not mutually exclusive. Its crew defines and measures success “…by the social capital our developments produce as well as by the asset value they generate.”

Guerrilla is currently focusing its attention on the” Jolene’s First Cousin” project. A $300,000 crowd-investing project, Jolene’s is a multi-use project in Portland’s Creston-Kennilworth neighborhood that will provide commercial/community space and housing for Portland resident and homeless people.

Breaking down the project specifics, the two-story building is to contain
– commercial space
– 2 market-rate residents’ lofts
– 11 single room occupancies
– dorm-like space with each resident having a 100 sq. foot
bedroom and access to shared common space
– 6 rooms designated to working homeless locals in a partnership with a non-profit, Street Roots
– 5 rooms rented to general population for $425/month
Guerrilla met Jolene’s $300,000 financial goal within the first week of its offering to the Portland community. Anyone living in Oregon earning $70,000/year was able to invest $3,000 or more in the project. (Its financing vehicle utilizes Rule 504 of Regulation D, qualified by the Federal Securities and Exchange Commission and by the Oregon Secretary of State’s office.)

Jolene investors are to be given an annual 5% preferred return for 5 years. In similar Guerrilla-inspired mixed-use commercial projects such as “Fair-Haired Dumbbell,” investors have been earning returns since the first year of the project’s operations.

Why and how is the crew at Guerrilla doing this work? Crowd-investing makes it possible to “ potentially democratize the real estate development process, help the community and make money,” said Anna Mackay, Guerrilla’s designer and developer. “The homelessness issue in Portland is extremely present…it’s on everyone’s mind. This (project) felt like our call to arms to tackle the issue.”

There are currently 4,000 homeless people in Portland so true, Jolene’s First Cousin is a very small dent in the problem but “…Jolene’s is a new way of approaching the problem and potentially alleviating part of it,” continued Mackay. Jolene’s is a social impact investment…and investment that “ties together real estate development with homelessness housing…”

Certainly solving ride sharing began with one driver and one passenger at a time. Perhaps, just perhaps, solving homelessness is beginning with one real estate development company and one homeless person at a time. Just one more example of the disruptive millennial mind and skill sets working together to benefit all involved.

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