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Our Why

The Northside Epicenter transforms a historic building from a liability into a community resource. In recent years, the building has borne witness to challenges indicative of an economically depressed, disinvested, and disengaged community, including illegal trash dumping and squatting, a fatal car crash into the first-floor façade, and a tragic shooting that prompted most of the previous business tenants to relocate, further depriving the area of needed services. Renovating the former Camden Park State Bank building will develop it into a focal point for economic vibrancy, value-driven entrepreneurism, and connection. Northside Epicenter is reclaiming ownership of Camdentown’s assets by and for members of the North Minneapolis community, with the potential to improve safety, establish space for coworking and community events to catalyze innovation and reduce social isolation, and foster scalable businesses creating intergenerational Black wealth. 

Our vision is to transition the former Camden Park State Bank building into an economically viable asset to the North Minneapolis Community. Our purpose is to make accessible—geographically, financially, and economically—a brick and mortar resource for African American business-owners to scale their businesses, build financial stability and generational wealth, and bring needed products and services otherwise inaccessible to the Camdentown community. 

 

We envision the Northside Epicenter as a locus for convening Black entrepreneurs, healers, and professionals to access the resources—brick and mortar space with available rent concessions; professional connections; and opportunities for collaboration, mutual marketing, and communal support—to establish themselves and grow into community pillars. In response to gaps in the Northside’s community assets, the Epicenter is also designed to address a need for intentional placemaking in the Webber-Camden neighborhood. The Epicenter’s founder works with business partners and community stakeholders using a social impact lens to select commercial tenants, prioritizing scalable businesses providing complementary products and services that meet authentic community needs substantiated by thorough market analysis. By fall 2023, the Epicenter will house 10 Black-owned businesses—including Arubah Emotional Health Services—bringing hair styling, wellness and recovery, educational consulting, construction services, and a plant-based café to North Minneapolis. 

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