The Hamline Midway Community Investment Cooperative

Posted on July 9, 2014 - 9:56am

Hamline Midway Coalition (HMC) is facilitating the formation of a Community Investment Cooperative (CIC) to promote local investment in North Snelling Avenue and other commercial areas in the Hamline Midway neighborhood.  The creation of a CIC Working Group is the first step.  The working group will work with HMC staff to research cooperative structures, draft a mission statement and bylaws for the new organization, and do the other leg-work needed to create a Community Investment Cooperative.   

If you are interested in participating in the working group, please contact Michael Jon Olson, HMC Executive Director, at michaeljon@hamlinemidway.org or 651-494-7682.   

What is a Community Investment Cooperative?

A Community Investment Cooperative is an member-owned organization that pools capital and other resources to invest collectively in the economic development of a particular community.  There are several Community Investment Cooperatives in operation in Canada and the United States including the Northeast Investment Cooperative in Minneapolis. 

Why a Cooperative?

A cooperative provides residents a way to work together to make long-term, strategic investments in their neighborhood.  Cooperatives operate democratically – on a one-member, one-vote basis – so all member-investors have equal voting power.  Because a cooperative is a for-profit business it can provide members with a modest return on their investment, but co-ops also typically focus on improving social and economic capital.      

Why focus on North Snelling Avenue?

In contract to the growing vibrancy of the Hamline Midway neighborhood as a whole, North Snelling Avenue is currently “underdeveloped,” with several commercial vacancies, tired façades, and aging street infrastructure.  This presents a unique opportunity for community investment.  North Snelling needs attention, but it also has great potential!