San Francisco Community Land Trust
Crowdfund Insider, January 2014
Fundrise Real Estate Platform Aids Marcus Books in Crowdfunding Effort
Marcus Books, the nations oldest black owned bookstore located in San Francisco, is facing the possibility of displacement. Fundrise, a commercial real estate crowdfunding platform, is helping them raise $1 Million to buy back the property.
Fundrise is seeking accredited investors to save a property. The campaign has been created with the goal of raising $1 million, the remaining amount necessary to save this small business and two apartments located overhead.
The campaign allows accredited investors the opportunity to invest as little as $10,000, with an expected return of around 4%. The rate of return is below the normal market value, but it comes with the added knowledge that the investments will have a lasting social impact on the area.
fundriseMarcus Books, the oldest African-American family-owned bookstore in the nation, is facing the possibility of displacement. This bookstore has been in business since 1960. It is also situated in its current location of 1712 Fillmore Street, also known as the historic Jimbo’s Bop City building, since 1981.
The building hosts the bookstore on the street level and a pair of Victorian-era apartments upstairs. A recent bankruptcy of a majority shareholder caused the building to change ownership. However, the new owners are offering an opportunity for the San Francisco Community Land Trust to purchase the property back. Currently, the offer stands at the current market property value of $2,600,000. The bookstore and residents of the apartments are required to vacate the premises by 28 February 2014, if this amount is not raised by then. Currently, the campaign has raised $1,650,000 from Westside Community Services, a local non-profit organization, thus the need for $1 million.
The San Francisco Community Land Trust is an organization that acquires properties that are at risk of displacement and stabilizing them. The apartments at risk in this deal are slated to be maintained at rates affordable to families who make 80% of the median income. For a family of four, this comes out to $80,000 per year.
Vacancy rates for apartments in San Francisco are at their all-time lowest level. Data suggests this amount is anywhere from 2.8-4%. This results in expensive options, and apartments are often difficult to find. As of June 2013, the rental cost of a 2-bedroom apartment is more than $3,000 per month. All these signs suggest that San Francisco suffers from a significant lack of affordable options in terms of the housing market.
Recent data suggests that the property values for San Francisco have been rising since 2012. In fact, similar buildings within only a mile of the Jimbo’s Bop City building have been sold for amounts between $1,400,000 and $2,840,000. Sales have increased, on average, by 23% on 3-unit buildings. These rates are expected to rise even further in the future. In fact, comparative market analysis has recently validated the selling price for this piece of property.
For investors, this means only a moderate risk associated with this investment. Investors can feel confident in the current market trends, and should expect and see solid returns on their investments. In addition to these returns, the knowledge that they will be saving a culturally significant building for the community is satisfying.
The apartments located in Jimbo’s Bop City building are in the most expensive housing area in the country. It would be quite difficult for families to find affordable options. An investment in this property would go a long way in helping create a trend of affordable apartments.
Eighty two percent (82%) of the 33,000 people living in the commercial area are renters. The median income for these households is $54,000. Approximately 34% of the households earn less than $35,000 per year. Higher income families (those who earn between $100,000 to $150,000 per year) have been increasing. The result is a higher likelihood of lower-income families being forgotten. The Fillmore District has become a significant priority for these reasons.
Recent reports suggest that retail leases cost more in Fillmore area than the other commercial districts. Of course, this is a reflection on advantages of residing and conducting businesses in this District. The Fillmore District boasts of cultural and historical significance, is also centrally located, and has a population of young people with disposable incomes.
Marcus Books seeks to become a 501(c)(3) non-profit cultural institution. The bookstore itself is not in financial trouble. In fact, the store is healthy and stable. This suggests that your investment in this property has high-potential for return.
Investors are enjoined to assist in raising the $1 million needed, to complete the $2.6 million, before the bookstore and the apartments’ occupants are forced to evacuate the building. Investors, do visit Fundrise to read more about the campaign and participate in saving a historic building, the Marcus Books and the residents as well.
Dan Miller FundriseTo the investors, Daniel Miller, Co-Founder of Fundrise, has this to say:
“The investment will stabilize a property whose main tenant is the historic Marcus Books, the oldest African-American owned bookstore in the nation. Additionally, it will provide two affordable housing units in the heated SF housing market. The investment return is below market, but the deal provides high social impact.”
Come to the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to help Marcus Book Store raise $1 million dollars to save the store!
As we begin 2014, we are working with the community campaign to help buy back Marcus Books in the historic Jimbo's Bop City Jazz building in the Fillmore. This historic building has two large flats upstairs that will be preserved as permanently affordable family-size apartments.
Celebrate MLK Day with author readings, hosted by Marcus Books at the 2014 Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration at YBCA. The million dollar fund drive to save the bookstore continues during the day of festivities honoring Dr. King’s legacy.
Date: Monday January 20th from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Address: 701 Mission St. (near 3rd Street), San Francisco in the YBCA Screening Room.
Admission is free. Come join us!
SF Examiner, December 2013
Marcus Books reading kickstarts $1M campaign to avoid closure
Marcus Bookstore in the Fillmore district opened its doors on its usual day of closure Sunday for a book reading that is part of a $1 million cause.
Unlike other literary and cultural events at the country's oldest black bookstore, this began with a pitch to community members to help come up with that amount of money by Feb. 28, or the business would be evicted from its Victorian home.
"Normally it would take a year to raise that amount of capital funds and we only have two months," said Tracy Parent, organizational director of the San Francisco Community Land Trust, which seeks to purchase the three-story building. "We have a campaign kicking off [Sunday]. Please take these postcards to share with your friends."
The postcards reading, "Help the community buy back Marcus Book Store" also urge community members to visitwww.supportmarcusbooks.com, where they can donate or contribute a loan.
Westside Community Services, a Fillmore-based nonprofit, offered a loan covering about two-thirds of the $2.6 million acquisition, leaving the $1 million gap to close through the real estate crowd-investment platform Fundrise.com.
"This will be the hardest part, but we feel that by using social networking and Fundrise.com, we can achieve it," said Parent, adding that the fundraiser is a new concept in The City. "The land trust has been around for 10 years, but buying buildings off the private market is very difficult, so we have to be creative with the financing."
The hope is to receive more donations than loans, said Grace Martinez, a community organizer for the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, a partner with the land trust.
Marcus Books -- designated as a San Francisco landmark in July, nearly two months after the bookstore and tenants in the two residential units above it were initially scheduled to vacate -- has been a family-owned business since 1960.
At the first of various book readings, concerts and house parties scheduled for the Support Marcus Books Campaign, store operators and attendees remained cheerful despite the lofty goal.
Co-owner Karen Johnson, 65, said the crowd of about 50 attendees at the fundraiser was "a beautiful place to start."
During a book auction portion, her daughter Jasmine Johnson, 29, laughed as she won a coffee table book with a $65 bid.
"We're pretty hopeful," Jasmine Johnson said. "I think the community understands how important it is and I think people will show up."
For many, saving the bookstore is about preserving the historic flavor of the Fillmore, Martinezsaid.
"A fight like this is not just to keep the legacy alive, but a beacon for a lot of people who are fighting to stay here in San Francisco," she said. "This is a part of what San Francisco used to be."