NNIP Elects Eleanor Tutt to Executive Committee


In January we were pleased to announce that one of our own, Eleanor Tutt, Data Management Coordinator for Rise, was elected to serve on the Executive Committee of the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP).

NNIP is a collaboration of the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan economic and social policy research center, and local partners in 37 cities to further the development and use of neighborhood-level information systems for community building and local decision-making. NNIP partners focus on democratizing information – facilitating the direct practical use of data by city, community and neighborhood leaders.

Eleanor has actively represented St. Louis at NNIP partnership meetings as an attendee and presenter since 2008. These meetings aim to strengthen NNIP’s peer learning network and advance the agenda of the partnership as a whole. They include presentations on individual partner work on a variety of topics, updates on cross-site projects, in-depth workshops on new data sources, and discussions about the direction of the partnership.

As a partner, Rise is hosting the next NNIP meeting, which will be held in St. Louis at the Drury Plaza Hotel, April 2-4, 2014. For more information about Rise’s important data democratization work, and our role in the NNIP partnership, please contact [email protected] or visit www.neighborhoodindicators.org.

CBN Awards Event Includes Rise CDC Capacity Building and Collaborative Grant Program Recipients

Jim L Award at CBN_NL

The Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis recognized outstanding individuals and organizations for excellence in community building at the 2014 Community Builders Awards Presentation March 6, 2014 at the Missouri Botanical Gardens.

Establishing itself as a premier community development event, recognized honorees included Fred Bright, the Mayor of the Village of East Alton, Melanie Dileo, Vice President of Community Affairs for Citi Bank, Jim Lutz, Rise Community Development Housing Development Project Manager and long-time community development notable, Sts. Joachim & Ann Care Services, Jason Deem, Rodney and Juanita Norma, Tim Barry, Executive Director of Horizon Housing Foundation and past-President of the St. Louis Equity Fund, as well as the Skinker-DeBalivere Community Council.

Realizing a need for capacity building as an important component of community building, a portion of the event was dedicated to Rise to announce our 2014 Community Development Corporation (CDC) Capacity Building and Collaborative Grant recipients. Loura Gilbert, Vice President of Community Development at Commerce Bank and a member of the Collaborative Oversight Committee announced the recipients.

The 2014 awardees and their grant-funded projects are:

DeSales Community Housing Corporation– Property Management system upgrades
Dutchtown South Community Corporation– Data and Neighborhood Indicator Tracking
Lemay Development Corporation & Lemay Housing Partnership – Broadway & Ripa Intersection Redevelopment Planning
Mt. Sinai Development Corporation – Sinai Village and Winstanley Neighborhood Reading and Vocabulary Skills Development Program
Old North St. Louis Restoration Group– Crown Square and Old North St. Louis Marketing Program
Skinker DeBaliviere Community Council and Citizens for Modern Transit – Wabash Station Planning

The event had over 200 people in attendance. The presentations, the socializing and the food were spectacular!

Emerald Ridge Groundbreaking and Construction

Emerald Ridge Groundbreaking 02102014_NL

In partnership with Southwestern Illinois Development Authority (SWIDA), the Village of East Alton and Madison County, Rise has begun developing 46 new single-family homes in East Alton, Illinois. The Emerald Ridge project is scheduled to be completed in early 2015 and will be occupied mainly by existing neighborhood residents.

These homes will be affordable to families earning sixty percent of the area median income, making nearly two-thirds of the population of East Alton eligible. Tenants will also be given the opportunity to own the homes after 15 years. Residents can expect reduced utility bills as a result of the energy efficient design and construction, including increased insulation, ENERGY STAR appliances, reflective roofing and high-efficiency systems. Our goal is to provide sustainable, energy-efficient, universally-designed workforce housing for families in East Alton.

The project is a part of the Village of East Alton’s effort to revitalize the community, and will replace obsolete apartments in a community formerly known as the ‘Defense Area.’ The ‘Defense Area’ was built by the Federal government as temporary housing in the early 1940’s to accommodate workers at the nearby Olin ammunition plant that was gearing up for the war effort. After the war, these barracks-style buildings were not dismantled as originally planned, but were sold off to private owners. The rigorous commitment of the Village of East Alton to rejuvenate the area has now come full circle with the Emerald Ridge residential redevelopment. At Rise, we plan to play a significant role in transforming this community by surrounding the existing park and recreation center with new, attractive homes.

The official groundbreaking for Emerald Ridge was held on a very cold (5 degrees!) February 10, 2014. The event was well attended at the Keasler Recreation Complex and included esteemed guests State Senator Bill Haine, State Representative Dan Beiser, Madison County Board Chairman Alan Dunstan, Mayor of East Alton Fred Bright, SWIDA Chairman Robert Lombardi, Acting IHDA Board Chair Karen Davis and IHDA Treasurer Mary Kane.

Letter from the President; What Did 2013 Bring for Rise?

Acree Photo_NL

2013 was a busy year for us, with multiple accomplishments that further our effort in community development. For starters, Larry Perlmutter joined our staff as our Communications and Development Manager. Larry came to us with previous experience in working with under-resourced neighborhoods and is working to promote our organization to the St. Louis area. Next we welcomed Mark Stroker as Director of Real Estate Development. Mark came to us from the Housing Authority of St. Louis County and works in all aspects of Rise’s residential and mixed use development.

We successfully completed the redevelopment of the Fox Manor Apartments in the Duchtown Neighborhood last June. In total, the project created 51 new energy-efficient apartments that became available to the local community. Because of the project, Rise received the DeSales Better Neighborhoods Award – an award recognizing people and projects that have made Saint Louis a better place to live.

We were extremely excited about the first annual Pop Up Street Party announcing our change from RHCDA to Rise and presenting our new logo, brand and website in September of 2013.

The groundbreaking of Emerald Ridge in East Alton, Il was a milestone for Rise and our partners. The project will replace the obsolete apartments in the area with 46 new affordable single-family homes surrounding Keasler Recreation Complex and Park. We look forward to revitalizing this community and will continue giving you updates on the project throughout the year.

We were pleased to award $72,500 in CDC Capacity Building Collaborative Grant Program grants to six different local community development organizations. These grants give CDC’s the funding and technical assistance needed to continue their revitalization work.

Finally, we also introduced the formation of our Young Professionals Board. The group is continuing recruitment, has created by-laws and committees and is looking forward to its first fundraising event on April 23rd.

These are a few of the highlights for Rise from 2013. We look forward to progress in our ongoing mission of improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods in 2014 and we will keep you updated as we continue “lifting our communities”.

Stephen Acree