PLACE

Rating: 5 stars   12 reviews

Issues:

Location: 100 Portland Avenue South, Suite 100 Minneapolis MN 55401 USA

Mission: To build a sustainable, just, and inspiring world, one community at a time. PLACE® is a nonprofit organization that works with cities to create and build leading-edge communities that promote the arts, environmentalism and social justice. Through a community-driven, ethically-focused process, PLACE develops new models for urban neighborhoods that demonstrate the best practices in environmental design, live/work development for artists and creative businesses, affordable workforce housing, and supportive housing for the most economically distressed. Our vision is to change the way communities are made.
Results: PLACE recently completed the WAV project in Ventura, California. It provides affordable, green live and work space for artists and solar penthouses for sale to artists and creatives. For the first time, PLACE created fifteen homes using the Supportive Housing model. These heatlhy, green homes are aimed and families and individuals suffering homelessness, and offer sliding scale rents at 30% of income. The PLACE team brings experience and passion to the planning, designing, funding, building and stewardship of over $450 million of green arts projects, residential, commercial, serving other nonprofits and cities. Recently, we have begun moving people into our WAV project, a sustainable community filled with artists and powered by solar power. In addition, we’ve created new homes for forty formerly homeless people and orphans and youth who’s foster care benefits end on their 18th birthday. Over six hundred people have signed up to be involved with the WAV project in Ventura, CA. Thousands have participated in over a hundred meetings to guide the vision. PLACE completed 6,200 square feet of commercial space targeted at arts-friendly businesses like coffee houses, jazz clubs, art galleries, wine bistros, etc. It helps support the WAV project.
Target demographics: PLACE serves people of all kinds by building better communities in which to live, work, play, create, and interrelate. We serve artists and the arts. PLACE serves the environment. We serve cities and communities. those who are interested in the experiment of creating better places, better communities. PLACE serves the most impoverished people. Those without a voice. PLACE builds sustainable communities for cities, affordable live/work space for artists and creatives, and renewable energy. We build sustainable supportive housing to help the most impoverished in our society. We build ecovillages that reflect the leading edge of community design.
Direct beneficiaries per year: We're working on these figures right now. But the WAV project currently provides 300 jobs. Not minimum wage job, but high paying jobs in law and banking and management and construction.
Geographic areas served: No limits
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EIN 20-4361698
(612) 309-3889
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

As a Resident Artist of the one of a kind WAV in Ventura, I can say that PLACE has set the bar high for a new way of living. PLACE conceptualized a new type of creative and caring neighborhood, and the results have surpassed any of my dream like expectations. The orchestration is no less beautiful than a symphony with co-creative minds working together to make this world a better place. I am honored to call The WAV my home and continue to create art which hopefully will benefit my community and environment. PLACE has changed lives and will continue to do so for many years to come.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

their ability to create communities which change lives.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

PLACE is incredibly creative and has meticulous follow through.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

I have met nearly all members of the PLACE staff and they are diverse in talents to take vision to reality.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-4-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

Our family relocated thousands of miles in the hope of being part of something new and something great; a community of working artists living in affordable, eco-friendly residences in one of the most beautiful parts of the world. We have not been disappointed, and indeed our experience has exceeded all hopes. A huge amount of ingenuity has clearly been put into both the project as a whole and each individual aspect, from the design of the living spaces to maximise natural light to the selection of artists to ensure a balanced yet diverse community of individuals and families. The creating of a community, both in the bricks and mortar (a phenomenal achievement in itself) and in the people who are now living here, signals a radical yet brilliant vision. The lives of all those involved have been deeply enriched. These benefits are apparent after only a few months of the project being operational. The long-term postive impact on the community and the surrounding society is likely to be immeasurable.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

many ways, both large and small. As residents of the WAV community, our lives are affected by the environment PLACE has created for us in three ways; when in our own home, when in the shared spaces in the complex, and when with fellow WAV artists.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the way in which the sheer, uninhibited splendor of the project's vision infects all who encounter it with optimism and energy.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

always able to combine excitement in the large scale of the project with loving consideration of each individual's needs, and to realise there is no contradiction between the two.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

have found a way to put the extra money to great use, either in this project or the next. PLACE seems to have an uncanny skill for wringing the maximum value out of each cent.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-4-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

54 people found this review helpful

I am continually impressed by the PLACE team's diplomacy and communication skills and have been inspired by their unwavering commitment to ethical management of the City's project at every step of the way. PLACE has succeeded in structuring a community process with the WAV project in Ventura that is inclusive, transparent, open and fair, and has done so with incredible good humor and generosity in the face of the many complex negotiations that are an inevitable part of any large public, private collaboration.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the stunning scope of the WAV project: a new, environmentally sound community in downtown Ventura, CA that includes affordable housing units, supportive housing units, retail space, green outdoor areas for the public, gallery/theater space and market-rate condos. PLACE has forged a remarkably harmonious coalition of what are frequently competing interests, with the result that the WAV project can serve as a model for future green, mixed-use, mixed-income projects in our city. The WAV project is set up to deliver economic and cultural benefits to the Ventura arts and business communities for many years.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Chris Velasco is one of the most brilliant people with whom I've ever worked, yet always very collaborative and approachable.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

their open, generous and community-oriented approach to both the development and implementation of this project.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

intelligent, committed, enthusiastic and thoughtful.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

create multiple waste-free, energy-efficient communities - see their website for information about the E-Generation project proposal.

Ways to make it better...

the City and private funding for the WAV project had been larger so that PLACE could have implemented even more of the cutting-edge environmental ideas and systems that they brought to the planning stages of the process.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

the diversity of their talents, focus and efforts, because the PLACE mission is not simply to create projects that are 'green' or that construct 'affordable housing' or that result solely in positive economic returns, but rather to create projects that encompass all of these goals in addition to other specific goals as stated by a given community. I think that PLACE can be a difficult organization to neatly categorize and that creates for a more complex marketing message.

One thing I'd also say is that...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-5-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

58 people found this review helpful

The most committed, energetic and knowledgeable staff with whom you could ever work. Everyone is marked by a high level of creativity and a perseverance to see lengthy, complex project through to completion.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the physical structure that is 3/4 completed, much to the amazement of people who have been trying to bring this project to fruition for a decade.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

have a continuous local contact for each project - although I know this takes extra money.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

learning about all aspects of their work, and having confidence in their ability to see the big picture and to get the small details done.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Professional, charming and dedicated

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Create several living centers for working artists and the homeless, in places all over the USA.

Ways to make it better...

PLACE had been local. They are based in Minnesota and a lot had to be done long-distance.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

becoming over-extended. They need to have a larger capital base so they can have a few more staff, to enable them to handle several large projects at a time.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I have no other constructive criticisms.

Should this review be counted for a specific campaign?

Project Understanding

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-2-01

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