A new concept encouraging community investment into low-income areas is being tested in the recent purchase of the Marlborough Elementary School, 1300 E. 75 St. Photo by Kathy Feist

Abandoned Marlborough School gets investor(s) and new hope

By Kathy Feist

equity2 has invested $250,000 into the purchase of the Marlborough School in  collaboration with the Marlborough Community Land Trust (MCLT) and  Marlborough Community Coalition (MCC). The school, located near 75th & Troost, was purchased from Exact Partners LLC which bought the property from Kansas City Public Schools in 2017. The school, built in 1927,  has been vacant since 2007. 

MCLT and MCC had partnered with Prairie Fire Development Group in planning apartments for the building. But the partnership soured when the Marlborough community insisted on a mixed use development employing retail businesses with townhomes and apartments.

This current partnership puts MCLT and MCC in the driver’s seat. 

“For now equity2 is the owner of the property until we can pay them back,” explains Rodger Kube. president of the Marlborough Community Land Trust’s board.  “They are essentially the lenders at no interest, But they see this as an opportunity to introduce this (new funding) concept into the city.”

 equity2  says their goal is to support the Marlborough neighborhood in launching a Community  Investment Trust (CIT). Residents will be offered an opportunity to invest in income  generating real estate, while having a say in the kinds of businesses they want to see  in their community. “Someone can invest as little as $10 a month into the Community Investment Trust,” explains Kube. “They are investing in the community’s future. They can also withdraw the money when they need it.” The Marlborough CIT will be among the first CITs implemented in  the region. 

“This investment creates an opportunity for current residents to participate in, and  benefit from the broader economic development happening around them” said Emily  Lecuyer, Managing Director of equity2. “We’re excited to bring the CIT to Kansas  City because it is a proven model for building a more equitable regional economy.” 

A feasibility study for the Marlborough CIT will be launched in the coming months.  Anyone who lives within the Marlborough neighborhood will be invited to  participate and give input on the development of the project through surveys and  community discussions in the summer of 2021.

To learn more about the Marlborough CIT, or if you are an impact investor and are  interested in innovative community wealth-building opportunities such as these,  visit http://www.e2investing.com/ or contact Emily Lecuyer at Emily@e2investing.com

equity2 LLC is a mission driven impact investment firm committed to deploying  capital in inclusive and equitable ways. Formed by AltCap in 2019, equity2 is  building on a strong track record of deploying capital in Kansas City’s distressed  communities. 


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