If you said were excited about The Transfer Station, the proposed Manayunk coworking, education and storefront space announced this summer, it’s time to put your money where your mouth is.
The project just launched on Fundrise, a Washington, D.C.-based crowdfunding platform that allows people to invest in local real estate. If it works, it’d bring the “community-owned” trend to a whole new level. The Transfer Station, looking to raise $500,000, is currently in a pre-fundraising stage to test out interest. There’s no down payment required to express your interest in investing.
Fundrise has successfully crowdfunded five projects in Washington, D.C., said cofounder Dan Miller. The first project that reached its goal on Fundrise, a food and shopping market, is under construction and set to open in 60 days, he said.
Fundrise’s crowdfunding real estate model is one that Slate columnist Matt Yglesias said “probably won’t work.”
“But if it does work,” he wrote, “it’ll work in an excellent way. Not so much by providing a new kind of financial product that makes sense for middle class investors, but by altering the currently toxic politics of urban real estate development.”
The Transfer Station is Fundrise’s first official Philadelphia project, but 3rd Ward, the Brooklyn maker and education space that expanded to Kensington last spring, is also looking to raise money on the site. 3rd Ward, also in a testing the market phase, is looking to raise $1.5 million that will go toward both locations, if it raises enough, an unexpected move for an established space. Unlike the Transfer Station campaign, though, this one is targeted to accredited investors, or those who have a net worth of $1 million.
Why the fundraising? In Philadelphia, specifically, 3rd Ward said the new space “is requiring more capital than expected to achieve profitability or reach cash flow break-even,” according to its Fundrise site.-30-