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RAEDI announces new community investment fund to boost local projects

Before a sold-out crowd of 300 local business leaders on Tuesday, Rochester Area Economic Development Inc. President John Wade announced the creation of a new $10 million Rochester Area Real Estate Fund. RAEDI is partnering with the Northfield-based REVocity, a Rebound Partners company, to launch and manage the fund.

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ROCHESTER — Rochester Economic Development, Inc. introduced a new $10 million community real estate fund at its annual meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 22.

Before a sold-out crowd of 300 local business leaders, RAEDI President John Wade announced the creation of the Rochester Area Real Estate Fund. RAEDI is partnering with the Northfield-based REVocity, a Rebound Partners company, to launch and manage the fund.

Brett Reese, the founder and managing partner of Rebound Partners, explained that the real estate fund is about investing in Rochester and Olmsted County projects to support residential, commercial, hospitality and other types of developments to boost the local economy.

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Brett Reese

Referencing RAEDI’s Southeast Minnesota Capital Funds I and II that invest in young businesses, Reese said this project follows a similar path, but covers different ground.

“We’re here to complement the Southeast Minnesota Capital Fund. They invest in business and we invest in real estate,” he said. It is ‘impact investing’ … investing in your community where you live and where you work.”

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Businesses, organizations and individuals can invest in the fund with a minimum investment of $50,000.

REVocity President Lori Bonin explained that the goal is to raise $10 million for the fund in the next 12 months that could, in turn, be leveraged through local banks to result in more than $40 million of local investment.

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Lori Bonin

REVocity and RAEDI will invest up to 5% of the fund total as general partners managing it.

REVocity has launched 14 similar community funds throughout the area in Northfield, Winona, Faribault, the Twin Cities and elsewhere.

Reese said the fund will benefit the community by supporting needs like senior housing or job-generating industrial projects, while also earning returns for the investors.

“One of our areas of expertise is taking older buildings and bringing them to higher and better uses,” he said, citing an example of a downtown building in another city that had three people working in it. REVocity acquired it, upgraded it and now 25 people work and live in the building.

Jeff Kiger tracks business action in Rochester and southeastern Minnesota every day in "Heard on the Street." Send tips to jkiger@postbulletin.com or via Twitter to @whereskiger . You can call him at 507-285-7798.

Jeff Kiger writes a daily column, "Heard Around Rochester," in addition to writing articles about local businesses, Mayo Clinic, IBM, Hormel Foods, Crenlo and others. The opinions of my employer do not necessarily reflect my opinions. He has worked in Rochester for the Post Bulletin since 1999. Send tips to jkiger@postbulletin.com or via Twitter to @whereskiger . You can call him at 507-285-7798.
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