New England’s First Regulation CF Development Breaks Ground

PROVIDENCE, R.I., March 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — In a private ceremony, innovative real estate developer Lanre Ajakaiye, a first generation African-American, broke ground on 25 Bough, the first redevelopment project in New England receiving approval for funding under Regulation CF (CrowdFunding), which was created under Title III of the JOBS act. This provision opens investment opportunities to all citizens, dramatically changing the landscape of who has access to wealth-building investment opportunities.

Historically only accredited investors – typically the wealthiest 2% of Americans – could participate in these kinds of capital raises. Regulation CF has changed that, and investment opportunities presented through SEC/FINRA registered broker-dealers, or approved funding portals, are now open to all citizens. 

“This was a dream of mine and my father’s,” says Ajakaye, referring to the plan to turn an abandoned 15,000-square-foot building into a community-empowering mixed-use facility. His father was afflicted with Alzheimer’s dementia so he carries the immigrant’s dream forth. With an event space and industrial kitchen focused on supporting ethnic celebrations like weddings, graduations, and quinceañeras, an athletic skills & health and wellness facility, co-working space, meeting rooms, educational facilities, and a cultural museum, 25 Bough Street sits at the intersection of culture, community, and capitalism that is breathing new vigor into this historic neighborhood. He calls it “a future home of BIPOC (Brown Indigenous People of Color) excellence that is welcome to all but targeted at the underserved in a city that is 73% Hispanic and Black!”

“It’s clear that this is the moment,” says Ajakaye, “because investors from all over the country have identified the opportunity in Olneyville. As we speak, developers from Philadelphia, Seattle, Boston, and beyond have projects currently underway.” Ajakaiye chose to use Regulation CF for early fundraising to differentiate his project from others in the area and drive community engagement. “All of these amenities will benefit the community,” he says, “and my vision is to make sure the people who live here can participate in the financial growth of this development.” In its first week, the campaign is quickly off to a great start raising $125k in a matter of days.

Founded as a small village to facilitate trade between European settlers and the Narragansett, Olneyville grew into an industrial center powered by the Woonasquatucket river, and has a rich and diverse cultural history thanks to many waves of immigrants. As the home field of The Providence Grays, Olneyville boasts several baseball records, including the second-ever perfect game, the largest shutout victory, and the original home of slugger Babe Ruth.

While some institutions like the iconic Wes’s Rib House have endured for decades, it is the new energy in Olneyville that excites Ajakaye. “I spent the early years of my youth here,” he says, “so it matters to me that Olneyville is a thriving place where people want to bring their families. The What Cheer Flower Farm, the boutique hotels, the furniture makers, the theatre companies – these are just leading indicators of what’s coming next. I am going to be able to transform the lives of underserved youth and communities for people that really need it. 25 Bough stands in the center of all of these developments ensuring the community can partake and benefit with ownership. If you want a before-and-after look at Olneyville, you’d better come quick, because a year from now it’s going to look very different.”

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Ismail Ajakaiye
25 Bough Street Media

SOURCE 25 Bough Street