David Alade, formerly a banker based in New York, and Andrew Colom, formerly a real estate developer based in Mississippi, left their careers and moved to Detroit in early 2015 in order to start Century Partners, a residential development firm aimed at rehabilitating Detroit’s neighborhoods – and building wealth in the city’s large black population.
Century begins its development process by buying historic abandoned homes and allowing neighbors to invest in their rehabilitation. When the homes are rented out, the neighbors can recoup their contributions to the investment fund. Residents can also sell their homes to Century for cash.
“If I can play a role in shaping or changing what a developer is traditionally supposed to look like and encouraging and thinking about ways to build generational wealth,” Alade says, “I will consider that a huge accomplishment.”