North Minneapolis entrepreneur and activist Jesse Ross is looking to redevelop a building that will serve as a home for small business owners in the community.
Ross’ efforts within the community: According to CBS News, Ross has been working steadfastly within his community, serving as a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) leader and local speaker.
Ross is also the founder of the Wealth Redistribution Project, created in partnership initiative with the City of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board.
Wealth Redistribution Project
The multi-million dollar effort upholds a vision to birth “a commercial rental space for Black, Brown, Indigenous and women-owned businesses” to reside before property and development values rise, according to the company website.
“So many people in a lot of the DEI work that I do … have said to me, ‘I don’t know what to do. I wish I could do more. Our company should be doing more.’ Here is a practical opportunity . There will be businesses here. There will be people here. There will be bills that need to be paid as well,” Ross said, according to CBS News. “Opportunities for companies, for institutions, for people to just say … ‘Hey I really want to do something and here’s somebody like Jesse who is creating a platform.”
The property will be a 68,000-square-foot building resting at 2518 North Second Street. The location is between the North Loop and Upper Harbor Redevelopment.
“Creating ownership in a space that’s in the middle of those two vibrant geographic locations I think is very important for those business owners, for the residents and for everybody who is to come,” Ross said, according to CBS news. “I do feel responsible for making sure that I’m a good steward of my resources but also that other people are a good steward of their opportunities to contribute resources.”
Already, $4.7 million has been raised to support Ross’ efforts, and only five percent more is needed to push forward with the groundbreaking project that will empower entrepreneurs in the area.
Ross has a goal to secure all the funding needed for the Wealth Re-Distribution Project by Dec. 1, 2022, before closing day.
Following that, renovations will begin in 2023 and take six months. If all goes according to the timeline, a soft opening will take place in the summer.
“In the next 10 years there will be tons of people, probably hundreds of thousands of people that will drive right by this space and this could be the potential missing middle,” Ross told CBS News.