A new initiative led by Pillsbury United Communities is working to acquire vacant and unused property across Minneapolis for redevelopment purposes.
So far, the Justice Built Communities initiative has raised $6 million of its $20 million goal to acquire properties and use as pre-development capital.
Pillsbury United CEO Adair Mosley says the initiative looks to meet the aspirations of Black entrepreneurs in communities that have historically been overlooked and underserved.
"The idea really was out of the civil unrest we saw after George Floyd's murder," Mosley said. "We saw our opportunity to stand-up for equitable economic development in areas that were already underserved, which includes north Minneapolis."
Justice Built Communities its first three locations earlier this month in north Minneapolis. Properties included the O’Reilly Auto Parts property at 1601, which was destroyed in the unrest, along with property at 1625 West Broadway and the adjacent property at 1622 Golden Valley Road.
"This initiative will leverage land, labor, entrepreneurship, and capital," Mosley said. "We're going to braid those four things together to build equitable economic development that centers Black and brown entrepreneurs who want to put businesses along our corridors."
Mosley said it's important to understand that the initiative is working directly with individuals living in north Minneapolis.
"Luckily we have really great business incubators in our community who are working with entrepreneurs in the community," Mosley said. "There is a robust community of entrepreneurs and circles that we want to leverage."
After decades of systemic disinvestment, Mosley believes there is no longer time to wait to address the disparities felt in Minneapolis among Black community members.
"If we are to build economic power and economic justice, then it is important that we usher in opportunities for everyone who has a dream has an opportunity to pursue it along the commercial corridor."