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Real Estate Crowdfunding: Doing Well While Doing Good

We move into this new year with community-focused projects that, while growing communities, also add to the increasingly noted benefits for builders who participate.

“With an incentive of doing well while doing good, you can build a brand of health and community, which will be extremely important going forward,” said ULI Senior Resident Fellow Edward T. McMahon.

The ribbon cutting ceremony in Isla Vista, the college community near Santa Barbara, CA, December 17th, 2014, marked just such a milestone (View Newscast). Now fondly known as the “Pescadero Lofts”, the former run-down eye sore of a Fraternity house became a focus that ignited a community. A team of builders, Housing Authority, Mental Health organizations, and community members worked together, where before, it may have been unlikely to find common ground.

Doing Well While Doing Social Good

The former Frat-house on 761 Camino Pescadero in Isla Vista, CA is now a three-story structure creating and growing a community from what could have housed a much darker, abandoned reality. You’ll soon see how real estate crowdfunding should fit in. This 12 million dollar project is the first of what could be many, in this community, and others. Real estate developers who participated in the investment in this community most certainly received tax benefits in addition to the culture climate recognition that will surely benefit these same builders in their other ventures. Doing Well While Doing Good.

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Mr. Polansky, CFO of the Housing Authority of Santa Barbara, reached out to Father Jon-Stephen Hedges four years ago to address the homeless population and accompanying side affects to the college-town of Isla Vista, California. From there, a monumental partnership between builders and service providers began. Father Jon-Stephen Hedges, a veteran, and a certified Crisis Chaplain of St. Athanasius Orthodox Church, among other positions he holds, was instrumental in connecting the groups, who were needed to prove commitment of sustainable service providers needed to insure the Pescadero Lofts could become and remain a reality.

Doing Well While Doing Social Good Doing Well While Doing Social Good

What were the rewards to the investing people and organizations whom otherwise had no personal interest in homelessness? “Remember ‘Million Dollar Murray’, the gentleman in San Diego, CA who cost the county over a million dollars in expenses including ER visits etc.,” Father Jon suggested. “They housed him, and the benefits of this created substantially lower cost to the community than what was required of the intervention costs related to Murray’s homelessness."

Crowdfunding real estate development projects have become a great part of the stable, affordable, healthy living that is typically “the first step to somebody getting their life back together.” The Pescadero Lofts real estatre features 26 studios and 6 one-bedroom apartments, housing the previously homeless. This includes at least 6 veterans, two of whom have been homeless for over 30 years. As a veteran himself, I am sure this is one of many personally rewarding aspects of this project Father John was instrumental in helping along. With what began as a mere potential, byway of “trust and a handshake,” morphed into a reality that is just the beginning of possibility, if crowdfunding takes a role. The Pescadero Lofts supplies sustaining services from mental health services, alcohol and drug counseling to career and job training. The employed residents pay 30% of their income in rent, while the unemployed receive section 8 housing to help maintain the property. Maybe this will create more individuals who can return to invest in others?

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Crowdfunding was certainly at play in the “Adopt A Room” portion, where contributors sponsored a room for $500, which supplied furniture and necessities. And, this certainly has created an opportunity to guide Father Jon in the benefits of crowdfunding for procuring donations.

In 2014, we at Patch of Land spoke of the financial & Karmic, or heart-felt, benefits of doing well while doing good, as a very profitable side affect of real estate crowdfunding. 2015 starts with one of many examples of projects in which a real estate crowdfunding has, or could, magnify the reach and scope of Pescadero Loft-type ventures in communities across the Nation.

Is there a Patch of Land in your community that you would like to see crowdfunded to success?

Get involved and inspired: For more information & to donate to the Pescadero Lofts sustaining programs, email Program Manager, Jennifer Ferraez at [email protected] or Father Jon-Steven Hedges at [email protected].



If you want to learn more, take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions we receive about real estate crowdfunding on a daily basis and find out why so many people are crowdfunding real estate projects across the country with Patch of Land.
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