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Gabe Mendez is Community Engagement & Partnerships Lead at Nico

Versión en español a continuación.

Safer-at-home is changing the way we experience our neighborhoods. As Community Engagement & Partnerships Lead at Nico, Gabe Mendez describes his role at Nico and shares his thoughts about what makes a strong neighborhood (and some great local initiatives!) in the face of COVID-19.

Gabe, what does your role entail at Nico?

My role is to educate members of the community in and around Echo Park on what it means to become a shareholder in Nico’s Neighborhood REIT, while empowering them to see the value of investing in local real estate. …


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Versión en español a continuación.

Yesterday we announced an expansion of a rent assistance program for the residents and commercial tenants of Nico Echo Park, which we are posting here:

To the residents and commercial tenants of Nico Echo Park,

We’re living through an unprecedented moment — a moment of deep personal, societal, and economic shock stemming from the public health crisis that has touched us all in different ways. Uncertainty, fear, and pain are being felt by many across Los Angeles and throughout the world. Despite $2 trillion in economic stimulus meant to support the economy, not enough has…


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Versión en español a continuación.

Nico is a new type of investment company that makes it possible for people who love their neighborhood to build a long-term financial stake in their community. That’s what Nico stands for — the Neighborhood Investment Company.

We believe that everybody should have the opportunity to build wealth by investing in real estate within their community and that if more people are able to participate as financial stakeholders, it will help the community thrive over time.

Nico’s Business Model

To make investing in local real estate fair, flexible, and community-focused Nico has created a first…


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“Sculpting Another Destiny” mural by Ricardo Mendoza on the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Echo Park Avenue.

Versión en español a continuación.

What’s a benefit corporation and how does it impact my investment?

We love neighborhoods. That’s why when we created Nico Echo Park, we chose to organize it as a benefit corporation.

A benefit corporation is a for-profit entity that is legally obligated “making a material positive impact on society and the environment.” Benefit corporations (also known as Public Benefit Corporations, or PBCs) are a relatively new type of company that is intended to produce a public benefit and to operate in a responsible and sustainable manner. One of the conditions to be a benefit corporation is a requirement to publicly report on the social and environmental…


Real estate investment trusts (or REITs) explained

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1650 Echo Park Avenue is a property in Nico Echo Park, which is a Neighborhood REIT

Versión en español a continuación.

A REIT, pronounced “reet”, isn’t as intimidating as it sounds. It stands for “real estate investment trust” and more than 87 million Americans actively own shares in various REITs, according to the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts.

REITs have been around since the 1960s, and allow people to invest in income-producing real estate (or mortgages) without having to buy, manage or finance the property themselves. They’re a great way to build wealth, diversify one’s assets, and invest in real estate. …


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Versión en español a continuación.

Can you truthfully declare that a legible paving pattern has ever enhanced your enjoyment of an exterior space? What if a landscape design felt so thoroughly at ease with it’s context that it ceased to exist as a willful “design” altogether? What if a project blurred so perfectly into the neighborhood or region that the designing hand faded from view, just as a planting spills over the paver’s edge? An ecology of culture thus gives way to a culture of ecology, and paving patterns are rendered meaningless.

These are questions Terremoto, a small, adventurous landscape…


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Versión en español a continuación.

Nico Echo Park is organized as a benefit corporation, which means that we balance financial returns with a commitment to “making a material positive impact on society and the environment.”

As part of our mission to positively impact the neighborhoods we invest in, Nico Echo Park recently partnered with Greywater Corps to install a greywater system at one of our buildings. We talked with the owner of Greywater Corps, Leigh Jarrard, to learn more about how this system works.


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Image from the Echo Park Community Parade.

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The precise date of the inaugural Echo Park Community Parade is a bit unknown.

“We were trying to think back to when the first parade took place and we just couldn’t come up with a date we all agreed on,” said Maryanne Hayashi, Executive Director at the Central City Action Committee. “Different organizations have sponsored over the years from chamber groups to local politicians, so there have been a lot of people involved…but no one really kept reliable archives.”


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Versión en español a continuación.

When we launch Nico Echo Park early next year, it will be among the first real estate investment trusts to organize as a public benefit corporation, which means that we’re legally committed to balancing financial returns with the social and environmental impact of our activities on a broad group of stakeholders.

Defining the success of our business to include our non-financial impact on the people in communities where we operate is core to our model at Nico. We believe that inclusive and stable neighborhoods are cornerstones of a healthy society and that the conventional model…


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Versión en español a continuación.

We love neighborhoods and believe that inclusive and stable neighborhoods are cornerstones of a healthy society. We also believe that the way local real estate is owned (who owns it, and what they are motivated by) matters.

Today, we are pleased to announce the launch of Nico, the neighborhood investment company. Nico is a new type of neighborhood investment company that makes it possible for people who love their neighborhood to build a long-term financial stake in their community by investing in local real estate.

We’re launching Nico in Echo Park, a vibrant, socioeconomically diverse…

Nico

Nico is a neighborhood investment company that helps people build wealth by investing in their neighborhood.

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