Photo courtesy of Nadege Green / WLRN
By Amy Lukau
Twelve black professionals are putting group economics to work. Creating the Miami Millennial Investment Firm, these Miami-Dade professionals seek to get black people to invest in gentrifying neighborhoods of Brownsville, Liberty City, Overtown, Gladeview and Little Haiti.
“We decided we wanted to make this a black project,” one of the group’s founders, Fabiola Fleuranvil told WLRN.
“People were saying, ‘How are you going to find young professionals who can put that type of money on the table?’ And we were able to find it without a problem.”
The firm’s inaugural investment was raised by finding 12 individuals with $10,000 each.
Miami Millennial Investment Firm is a closed group although they are in talks to create subgroups for future investors.
The firm has purchased two single families homes thus far planning to add commercial and industrial properties to their portfolio.
Fleuranvil said “We see the opportunity, but we don’t want to sit back as bystanders. We’re coming in to do it.”
Fleuranvil said when she looked at who was coming in on the cusp of neighborhoods changing in Miami and buying properties and then making large sums from profit it was foreign investors, big-name national and local developers. However, young black professionals were absent from the equation.
Steven Osakue one of the firm’s investors said other groups have been strategic in South Florida when it comes to ownership in their own communities but in predominantly black enclaves black professionals do not always see the potential in staying and investing.
“I think it’s been systemic for many generations that we haven’t been taught what to do with our money as much as other communities have,” Osakue said.
Firm members understand that black investors need to be creative and build a collective that pools money together if they are going to be successful in combating gentrification in the twenty first century.