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Friday, June 7, 2024

Meet the Black Woman Entrepreneur Helping to Build a Shopping Center in Rhode Island

Maranda Walker

Nationwide — As an African American woman in real estate development, Maranda Walker Dowell is elevating the concept of ‘Buy the Block’ to remarkable new heights. She is the co-founder of Genesis Development Partners and has earned a reputation for excellence in retail site selection and development for national retailers. Her latest venture, a 3.5-acre land development located at 6075 Post Road in Kingstown, Rhode Island, is poised to redefine the local landscape and empower the community.

At the heart of Dowell’s project is a commitment to inclusivity and community engagement. While she currently owns the 3.5-acre site alongside other investors, her plans extend far beyond mere land acquisition. Dowell envisions a vibrant shopping center that not only meets the local market’s needs but also fosters economic growth and opportunity for all stakeholders.

Central to the project is a 20-year ground lease from McDonald’s. There will be a 12,000 SF Strip and the inclusion of a car wash on the site, This strategic move will enhance the shopping center’s appeal and meet the demand for such services in the area. To bring more diversity to her capital stack, Dowell turned to Vesterr, a capital platform specializing in equity crowdfunding to bridge the gap.

Through Vesterr, Dowell is looking to raise $300,000, which will be just a small portion of the capital used for equity and pre-development costs. Vesterr demonstrates the power of community investment and collaboration. Moreover, Vesterr’s status as a registered funding portal with the Securities and Exchange Commission and membership in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ensured compliance with regulatory standards, and will provide investors and transparency throughout the process.

Dowell’s decision to embrace equity crowdfunding was not merely a financial strategy but a deliberate choice to democratize access to real estate investment opportunities. By allowing unaccredited investors to participate in her shopping center ventures, Dowell is breaking down barriers and empowering individuals from all walks of life to share in the project’s success.

“As a Black woman in real estate development, I understand the importance of representation and inclusion,” says Dowell. “I am grateful to allow others who look like me to take that ride with me. I can, and have raised capital in other more exclusive communities. But I understand the intrinsic value of taking my kids to a property and telling them we own a piece of this. I want that for other moms too. That, for me, going from success to significance.”

With a signed 20-year lease from McDonald’s already secured and negotiations underway with Taco Bell, Dowell’s project is poised for success.

To learn more about Genesis Development Partners and how to participate, visit TheGDPartners.com