“Buy Back the Block” is a trendy slogan, but Chris Senegal AKA @_invstr has actually done just that. In 2013 he came across a rundown block in the Fifth Ward section of Houston. Where most saw hopelessness he saw an opportunity.
At the time the area was one of the worse places in the city, it was known for prostitution and drugs. He purchased the entire block for $400,000. He didn't have the money to pay cash and he couldn't get bank funding, so he used a creative method called owner financing to acquire the properties from the landlord that owned every property on the street.
He first developed parolee housing to help nonviolent ex-convicts get back on their feet. In 2016 he noticed the area was changing and becoming more developed. After seeing the development patterns in the surrounding neighborhoods he decided to get ahead of the curve and take action. His forward-thinking led him to begin developing luxury townhouses on the block.
What makes him different from most developers is that his vision isn't to build nice houses and sell them to the highest bidder. His plan is to get successful people that are originally from the neighborhood that moved out to come back.
The definition of gentrification is the process of renovating and improving a house or district. His theory is that an area can be gentrified by someone from the area and occupied by residents that are from the neighborhood. Doing so will keep the culture of the community intact while improving the neighborhood, increasing tax dollars which would improve schools.
Chris has made it a point to not only bring tenants that are originally from the area back but he also only hires from the neighborhood. All of his contractors and workers for his properties come from the Fifth Ward. He hires from the same streets that he is working on improving.
He told his story and explained his real estate strategy on episode 36 of the @earnyourleisure podcast.
EYL #36 will be out today at 5 pm est. #eyluniversity
Article by @rashadbilal