REIC is an example of how a community could take charge of its place and with that its culture and destiny. It is a community organized real estate investment fund where everybody from the community could invest and become a member-owner. It’s barn-raising 21st century style where all members have a vote in decision making. REIC is formed upon the belief that when none could do it alone, it could be done by leveraging contribution of a community.
There are at least two conditions in which REIC could become a good solution or even a necessity.
- An affluent city with large business districts where real estate has become high value commodity. This commodity may be in the hands of a few institutional investors whose concern is purely profit. Local small businesses and other organizations may not afford to occupy work space since the price of ownership and rental skyrocket. The rental fee for those who’re already occupying work space may rise up too quickly causing shutdown or displacement.
- A small remote township where there is a need to develop a vibrant local business district. Poor maintenance of existing real estate and little or no new real estate development due to lack of investments from local businesses and institutional investors.
The aim of a REIC is to ensure affordable work space and business space for the local community. As a democratic financial organization, REIC makes investments with concern for local community and culture. It works towards availability of permanently affordable work spaces where profit making from rents is not the primary concern.
Besides being an investor, a REIC could be a funder who loans to local businesses. It could also become a partner in a local business while guiding and assisting in business growth. There is also some activism attached to REIC which drives it to take up the role of a lobbyist who could influence a local governments decisions on real estate or housing developments in terms of land use and affordability.
Finally REIC is a center to educate and empower a community in the area of real estate development, investment and entrepreneurship. It could be a catalyst to produce resilient and thriving business, social and cultural districts.