Entrepreneurs and nonprofits invest in commercial real estate to keep north Minneapolis local

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Architect and North Sider Jamil Ford has helped design numerous buildings that went up in north Minneapolis in the last decade. In a few months, he will lead a development of his own.

Several entrepreneurs such as Ford and nonprofit organizations are working to bolster local ownership and affordable leasing of commercial properties in north Minneapolis, especially local businesses led by people of color who they fear could be displaced as the area develops.

“You talk to anybody on the North Side and they can feel the change,” said Jeff Washburne, executive director of the City of Lakes Community Land Trust, one of the organizations involved in the effort. “It’s racially. It’s economically. It’s containers on the street, people rehabbing homes. … It’s flipping quick and values are going up.