Envision. Design. Finance. Build. Sustain.
PLACE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit team collaborating with cities to envision, create, and foster mixed-income, transit-oriented developments that feature the arts and affordable living opportunities. The communities we build demonstrate profound environmental design and empower the community to participate in every aspect of the development process. We are community builders with decades of experience designing, financing, building, and operating places for the public benefit. Our mission is to create places that foster a sustainable, just and inspiring world.
“With its mix of uses, focus on sustainability and housing for all income levels, PLACE is an innovative project that pushes transit oriented development to a new level.” — Hennepin County Commissioner Marion Greene
The first complete community PLACE developed and continues to own and manage as a nonprofit is WAV (Working Artists Ventura) – a mixed-income creative community in Ventura, CA. Completed in 2009 and thriving today, WAV is the country’s first sustainable arts community. Developed hand-in-hand with the local community over the course of 142 public meetings, WAV is a landmark project in southern California, providing affordable live/work homes for hundreds of artists and their families, along with permanent homes for families transitioning out of homelessness. Because PLACE owns and manages WAV, it will remain an affordable artist community forever. It is a hub for the arts, a tourist attraction, and a vibrant, 24/7 neighborhood.
"They’re literally bringing dreams to life before our eyes." — Nick Goodenough, WAV Community Member
PLACE recently completed the Via Sol community in St. Louis Park, MN with unprecedented sustainability features for Minnesota apartments. Hundreds of mixed-income apartments provide affordable live/work units for creatives, luxury housing, and affordable, income-restricted living for families. An urban forest and naturalized landscape in its infancy now will grow to provide crucial green space, stormwater management, and pollinator habitat. Three major works of outdoor art were created for Via Sol by Twin Cities' artists selected in a community process and commissioned to represent the project's values. HourCar chose Via Sol to be a pilot in its new multifamily car-sharing hub program, providing two shared Electric Vehicles (EVs) that are open to residents and the public. The project is positioned on the regional bike trail and future light rail line, making mass transit and car-free options available for all.
"We went after everything that was new, and then we went a step further." — Sid White, Former Economic Dev. Head, City of Ventura
To achieve this ambitious vision, PLACE partnered with several public agencies, foundations, other nonprofits, and a number of for-profit businesses to create a unified team with the right combination of financial assets and public benefit expertise. Charting new territory and confronting difficult challenges is part of our organizational DNA. PLACE continually seeks new ways to challenge the status quo, and ultimately to create beautiful, visionary places in which people from all walks of life can live, work, play, and create.
"PLACE is an excellent project, for the city and the region. Turning vacant, unused property into a community space with alternative energy features, that is connected to other uses, like transit, is just the kind of investment the Council wants to make toward a livable communities and a prosperous region” – Erin Heelan, TOD Grants Coordinator, Metropolitan Council Livable Communities.