East Phillips Neighborhood Institute

A nonprofit organization

$4,170 raised by 48 donors

42% complete

$10,000 Goal

Support A Just, Healthy, and Sustainable Future for East Phillips Residents!

The East Phillips Neighborhood Institute (EPNI) is focused on environmental justice, public health, and sustainable economic development in the East Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis, MN. EPNI has engaged a multicultural coalition in a process of self-determination, community governance, and community ownership. The success of EPNI will reverberate across the United States, and change community development to prevent profit vultures and gentrification, and promote tangible and significant wealth building for the most impoverished neighborhoods.

There are 6 main pillars to EPNI's development project:

  1. Urban hydroculture-aquaculture and edible forest farms
  2. 5 Mega Watt solar array-- enough to power 500 homes
  3. Low-income housing complex at 30% AMI
  4. Small-businesses and nonprofit collaboration space
  5. Green career training facilities
  6. Community ownership and self-determination

The former Roof Depot warehouse that EPNI is redeveloping is 230,000 sq. ft. and sits on a plot of land 7.6 acres in size, and abuts the Midtown Greenway Bike Path in South Minneapolis. The goals of the community are ambitious, but we are well on our way to making this project a reality. Major milestones in EPNI's campaign for environmental justice include the following:

  • In Spring 2023, the Minnesota State Legislature  appropriated $6.5M towards site acquisition, and promised an additional $5.7M in 2023
  • More than 18 organizations have signed letters of intent to lease space for their small business or nonprofit; 3 leading law firms have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars of pro bono legal service to develop the community ownership model.
  • The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) accepted EPNI into the Brownfield program and are assessing the site for environmental remediation needs
  • EPNI has raised over $300,000 from community members, and foundations since May of 2023 for Pre-development costs.
  • A coalition of investors have stepped up to pay $3.7M towards the purchase of the building.

EPNI is developing a model of community development that has never been attempted before. Driven by a fatally urgent commitment to environmental justice in one of the lowest income and most racially diverse areas in Minnesota, EPNI is trailblazing a method for wealth generation within the community that will transform public health, and prevent gentrification. EPNI is creating an essential and visionary blueprint for healthy, vibrant and sustainable communities in which all can thrive and blossom.

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East Phillips Neighborhood Institute

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Environment Community Economic Development

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