Real Estate Development
In 2003, LEDC with In the Heart of the Beast Theater worked together with the Neighborhood Development Center to purchase and renovate what became Plaza Verde. Its offices moved there in November of 2004, and it has been the home of LEDC offices ever since, along with many other businesses.
Real Estate Investment Fund
LEDC established a real estate investment fund in 2010 to support the purchase of buildings by LEDC members for business expansion. This fund assists in building the assets of the Latino business community and improves negatively impacted commercial properties in targeted neighborhoods. The investment priority are projects which create new job positions for low income residents of target areas in South Minneapolis and the East Side of St. Paul.
Los Ocampo Mexican Restaurant
LEDC loaned $200,000 to long term member Los Ocampo restaurants to support the purchase and renovation of a building at 1750 Suburban Avenue ( I-94 at the White Bear Avenue exit). The total project cost for this business expansion was $1.3 million dollars. Three months after opening, the project resulted in 46 new job positions; nearly all hires were of low income residents of the East Side of St. Paul. This is Los Ocampo’s 5th restaurant business.
Plaza Los Lagos
In 2011, LEDC purchased and renovated the former Me Gusta building at 1501 East Lake Street, renaming it Plaza Los Lagos. Current tenants in the building are Las Mojarras Restaurant, Safari Braiding, LEDC’s employment training program, and as it develops, the Los Lagos Social Innovation Center. The project will provide classroom space for employment training and will incubate Social Innovation Center businesses sustainable, green, community oriented enterprises.
Agricultural Cooperative Development
LEDC began a cooperative development program in 2010, funded by a grant from the US Department of Agriculture. Since then LEDC has been a part of the following projects:
- Developing a farm incubator development model to provide beginning farming capacity for Latino farmers
- Development components of a food system to reach from grower to grocery shelf
- Securing access to land purchases for farm cooperative incubators
- Facilitating access to agricultural resources, including financing and training
- Identifying markets and developing the infrastructure to deliver products to markets
- Developing an integrated food system
Public Markets as a Tool for Economic Development
LEDC has been involved in the development of many public markets, including: