Can an App Renovate a Neighborhood?

3D home models

Fundrise, an online platform for individuals to collectively invest in real estate projects, is seeking to transform an entire neighborhood in Los Angeles.

August 10, 2021
Patrick Sisson - Bloomberg

On a sleepy stretch of West Jefferson Boulevard not far from downtown Los Angeles, cars typically speed past blocks of old warehouses and blank retail facades for destinations elsewhere. But slow down, hit the sidewalk and peek into and around a few buildings, and you’ll see the telltale signs of renovation: sandblasted walls, new windows, work crews and exposed wood beams.

In an expansive brick building that once housed a child-care center before reverting to a warehouse, an inside-out renovation for a future food hall has stripped the wooden ceiling down to gorgeous bow trusses, sunlight filtering through the gaps and lighting up a floor of dirt filled with tracks from heavy machinery.

This string of commercial development, 20 buildings in total, isn’t a typical project, nor does it rely on traditional sources of financing. A clue can be found on the white and orange signs above a handful of buildings between La Brea Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard, beckoning potential tenants to call Fundrise for leasing opportunities for built-to-suit office/retail.



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