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

Rise’s Annual Appeal Radiates Success

Each year, we delight in the incredible progress that has taken place in our neighborhoods and community business districts. And this year, through our first-ever Rise Annual Appeal campaign, we were able to strengthen and diversify our funding sources, allowing us to continue the tremendous progress we have seen in recent years.

From Fox Manor in Dutchtown South to East Alton, and the 44 neighborhoods and business districts in between, these projects wouldn’t have been possible without the continued support from local communities. Rise relies on these socially-committed and caring individuals because they allow us to launch and sustain new projects that we have set for our future.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who made a donation. Your gifts will enable us to continue rebuilding neighborhoods, provide expertise to local groups and work toward strengthening our greater community.

2014 CBN Awards Ceremony a fantastic success!

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 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 Service’s 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 Community Development to announce our 2014 Community Development Corporation (CDC) Capacity Building and Collaborative Grant program recipients. Loura Gilbert, Vice President of Community Development at Commerce Bank and a member of the Collaborative Oversight Committee announced the recipients:

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 was very well attended and shows the interest and support for community development is St. Louis is on the Rise!

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Loura Gilbert is featured in the Post Dispatch

On February 28, 2014, Loura Gilbert, Representative for Commerce Bank on the Rise Board of Directors and Chair of the CDC Capacity Building and Collaborative Grant Program Oversight Committee, was featured in the Post Dispatch for her work with the Metropolitan St. Louis CRA Association and for her commitment to stabilizing neighborhoods.

Loura Gilbert

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