NYC Real Estate Investment Cooperative
Info: democratic finance for affordable space
Project: Shaker Residence

The NYC Real Estate Investment Cooperative (NYC REIC) is a group of over 300 New Yorkers who are pooling their money and power to secure space for community, small business, and cultural use in NYC. Consistent with the principles and spirit of the cooperative movement, NYC REIC makes long-term, stabilizing, and transformative investments for the mutual benefit of our member-owners and our community.

We are working together to secure permanently affordable space for civic, cultural, and cooperative use in NYC. We are incubating a NYC Real Estate Investment Cooperative (NYC REIC) that leverages the political power and patient investments of members to stabilize neighborhoods and build an inclusive, resilient city.

Since our first member meeting in May 2015, we have attained a membership of 350 people, banked over $3,000 at the Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union, received pledges of over $1.3 Million for future investments, and elected a governing body. By 2017, we aim to finance at least one permanently affordable commercial property. Our goal is to make long-term, stabilizing, and transformative investments for the mutual benefit of our member-owners and our communities.

Preliminary criteria for NYC REIC investments:

  • The property to be acquired is in New York City.
  • The programming proposed in the property supports culture, small business, cooperation, and/or community benefit.
  • The programming in the property benefits populations that have traditionally had barriers to accessing stable places to assemble and/or do their work.
  • The property and programming proposal are financially sound so that we will be able to pay members back; we aim to minimize the risks we are taking with our money and resources.
  • The property acquired is restricted from being transferred as a market commodity in the future through legal mechanisms in its deed (e.g. covenants, conservation easements, community land trusts); we can make this a prerequisite for working with us.

We have a democratically-elected Steering Committee and workgroups that move us forward. For Spring 2016, our workgroups areScopingREIC UArt & Media, and Community Organizing & Relationship Building (CORB). Find out more and see when they meethere.

The organizations currently endorsing the cooperative are: 596 Acres, Spaceworks, Greater Brooklyn and Fourth Arts Block. We have received a small grant from RSF Social Finance. Our policy teams get advice from Fordham Law School and Brooklyn Law School’s Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship.

Fiscal sponsorship for the incubation period of NYC REIC is provided by Spaceworks NYC, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. As an early-phase initiative, we are seeking planning grants, support for a white paper, and money to cover operating expenses. As stated above, the NYC REIC itself will be incorporated as a for-profit organization prior to the fundraising campaign for the initial pilot project, becoming an independent, cooperatively-governed organization that provides financing to create long-term affordable community-controlled space for cooperative enterprise, art, culture and organizing.

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