by Dan Rafter
We’ve all read stories of how filmmakers, illustrators and cartoonists have used crowdfunding to turn their dreams into real projects: They ask for small donations from a number of investors — usually collected through a central Web site such as Kickstarter — until those tiny donations build to a big pool of money.
Real estate developers are also embracing crowdfunding, calling for smaller donations from a larger pool of investors to build everything from office buildings to retail centers.
An example is taking place now in Bloomington, Ind. That’s where Mainstreet, a developer of short-stay rehabilitation facilities for seniors, wants to build its newest seniors facility. The company, though, is taking an interesting approach to finding investors in the project, partnering with real-estate-focused crowdfunding site CrowdStreet to gather enough funds to build its rehabilitation center.
Investors today can pledge donations in Mainstreet’s MS Bloomington development project to earn a targeted 10 percent annualized cash yield. Mainstreet also predicts that the project will generate a 14 percent annual rate of return for its investors.
Zeke Turner, founder and chief executive officer of Mainstreet, said that the crowdfunding move is consistent with his company’s approach to developing short-stay rehabilitation centers.
“Consistent with our mission to think differently, innovate and transform industries, Mainstreet is among the first to offer private real estate investment opportunities directly to the public,” Turner said in a written statement.
Mainstreet will host an information session for accredited investors on May 13 at 10 a.m. in Bloomington. Reservations are required for this session. You can make them by visiting Buildmainstreet.com.
Darren Powderly, co-founder of CrowdStreet, said that the Mainstreet project is just the latest real estate venture for his crowdfunding site.
“Our goal is to connect accredited investors with high-quality, professionally managed real estate investments,” he said in a written statement. “The Mainstreet team has a proven business model and a track record of success.”