At Sabri Properties, our guiding principle and mission is simple: To share our unique and civic-oriented business practices, and to create greater public awareness of the role commercial developers can play in reinvigorating poor communities.
For over a decade, Sabri Properties has demonstrated how 'unsaveable' neighborhoods can be rescued, and that redevelopment can happen without displacing low-income residents. We show how creating environments of opportunity can empower and strengthen minority or immigrant areas.
We put our money where our mouths are, by not only subsidizing small business owners living in the area, but by becoming part of the community.
We hold street fairs, coordinated with law enforcement and the City of Minneapolis, that reflect and celebrate the diverse communities we serve. Our largest event of this kind is the annual Cinco de Mayo block party, which has been sponsored and produced by Basim Sabri and Sabri Properties for more than a decade.
This event, and others like it, draw visitors and consumers into areas once considered dangerous and off-limits, and allows the Hispanic community prevalent there a chance to share an important part of their heritage with visitors who might otherwise never think to venture into historically unsafe parts of town.
Community support and sponsorships of this kind are typically seen by companies providing the funding as a branding opportunity or strictly in good-will value from consumers.
Sabri Properties, however, underwrites scores of events and programs each year, most of which are done without promotion or even acknowledgement of our involvement.
This is a key example of our long-term strategic approach: by incrimentally encouraging more neighborhood involvement by residents, bonds begin to form within the community; people start thinking in terms of their role as owners and stakeholders within the neighborhood, which further enhances safety and stability for us all. Tolerance for unruly behavior or "problem houses" is greatly reduced, and the trust between citizens and law enforcement grows with their common ground in protecting and preserving the rebirth of their community.
The bottom line:
we plan our business in years and decades, and tolerate the time, expense, and lack of revenue from properties as the pieces come together in recasting the character of a community. We do this because our experience shows that from a long-term investment perspective, the benefits are plentiful and often provide excellent returns for us as a business. The benefits to individuals in the communities we develop requires a similar degree of patience, but clearly the consensus is that we leave the area far better off than before our arrival.
Examples of return on our investments:
Our property values increase, which provides the liquidity and financial freedom for our company to make the long-term investments
Jobs and commerce return, with safe streets that invite new customers into areas previously off-limits;
Our neighbors have secure, quality housing, which brings pride and a sense of responsibility for the neighborhood;
And we are able to move forward planning our next community effort knowing that we are limited only by our inspiration.
In short, we challenge ourselves and the community to become active stakeholders in creating and sustaining a community, and ensuring it is one that offer opportunities, prosperity and stability to these residents.
Inside image from Somali Market,
a Sabri Properties development