In the past few years in DC, crowd-funded real estate firms have become popular: firms like Fundraise and Popularise where people can invest a bit or help decide what bigger real estate firms should do. The restaurant Maple on 11th was one example, they crowdsourced what their concept should be, and people chose some dishes they'd serve.
Now there's a new service called DevelopIt, focused on our neighborhood and with a specific goal. The founders (of whom I'm an advisor) realized that Columbia Heights and the surrounding areas have a lot of bank branches, cell phone stores and 7-Elevens, so they figured why not open more of those? (And make money doing so.) So they're crowd-funding investments from the people to open more.
Here's their press release:
Columbia Heights is a booming area, and real estate is getting more and more popular. We are a group of current and former real estate investors and professionals, and decided to help make real estate investing open to everyone, not just those with real estate licenses. We at DevelopIt are organizing a way to invest in our community, and will be bringing the area what it wants most: bank branches, cell phone stores and 7-Elevens. It's apparent that these businesses do well and are very popular, so why not bring more of them?
To get involved, we ask local residents to donate on a sliding scale of what they can afford. We have already identified numerous storefronts on 14th, 11th, Sherman and Georgia that would be prime locations for banks, cell phones and 7-Elevens. Let's do it! Let's bring more of what the people want to our neighborhood. And considering their popularity, you are basically guaranteed a positive return on your investment.Sign me up. This is basically a license to print money.