Man works to launch entrepreneurial space for people of color in Minneapolis

A Minneapolis man with roots on the north side is looking to invest in the community he serves.

Jesse Ross is in the process of purchasing a massive warehouse located just outside the north loop. His vision is to build a space where entrepreneurs of color can grow.

Just north of the North Loop near downtown Minneapolis, an industrial district spans several city blocks. Longtime north side resident and community activist Jesse Ross sees it as the land of opportunity.

"So the building behind me is a process and a vision that I had a couple of years ago to figure out how to own real estate in my own community," says Ross.

Ross has his sights set on a warehouse located on the corner of the 2500 block of North Second Street. The building spans nearly 70,000 square feet.

"So this is one of the spaces that we’re hoping to get a tenant in," Ross says.

Jesse Ross (FOX 9)

One door leads to another. It's a floor plan offering endless space and allows room for Ross's imagination to roam. "So, my vision for this space is to have a place for minority-owned businesses, Black and Brown, women and veteran-owned businesses in north Minneapolis to go and say we can have a place, we can have our own."

In an ever-changing landscape, Ross says that he's looking to fill a void. "A part of it has been me watching abandoned buildings, ownership that doesn't look like us continue to change over time since I've been a kid and i want to do something about that," says Ross.

Back in June the husband and father of six launched a GoFundMe page to help raise money to buy the warehouse. With a personal bank loan and funds from the city and potentially the state, Ross says that he hopes to close on the property next month, which he says will open the door to a new beginning.

"I’m not the only entrepreneur doing this. There are other entrepreneurs that are trying to create change in their community and so this is just one piece of a very large puzzle of how do we change the course of entrepreneurship and ownership for communities of color," says Ross.

The warehouse currently has about 10 tenants. Ross says that fundraising efforts will continue throughout the year to help with construction costs. More info can be found on the link below.