As real estate values have continued to rise in New York City over the course of the last decade, some of its citizens have begun to seek creative new ways to maintain affordable housing in the city. The most recent of these attempts consists of roughly 200 investors from all over Manhattan and its five boroughs making small-scale contributions to a growing cooperative effort. They call themselves the NYC Real Estate Investment Cooperative.
Caroline Woolard, a Brooklyn resident who had been struggling to keep up with her rent, conceived the idea during a conversation with a friend and founder of a New York City based non-profit that buys vacant lots and turns them into community gardens.
After reading about a similar cooperative in Minneapolis, the pair was inspired to try a similar experiment of their own. Their plan is to use the collective capital of the cooperative to purchase commercial properties and preserve them for small businesses, artisans, and social services.
It’s a risky move, but one that is reflective of the spirit of entrepreneurship and resilience that has characterized New York City for generations. The group has yet to establish a formal structure, but will likely become a limited-liability corporation in the coming months.
According to a recent article in Crain’s, the group’s initial goal is to “have a list of realistic properties and the money to secure at least one of them within two years.”
Stay tuned for more updates on the New York City real estate market from Robert Khodadadian of Skyline Properties.