One of the first significant projects beginning to take shape is a revitalization of the aging Mall West End. … If projects like Gravel and Von’s are successful over the long-term, then it could be a model for others who want to invest in distressed locations in the city.
Closer Look’s Rose Scott recently visited the West End Mall to hear from developers Ryan Gravel and Donray Von, who have proposed a multimillion-dollar plan to redevelop the area with restaurants, storefronts and office space. Gravel, who is also known as the visionary for the BeltLine project, and Von, an investor, say their goal is to develop the area responsibly and with the neighborhood in mind. We learn more about the specifics of their plan.
If Gravel and Von have their way, the massive project would comprise affordable workforce housing, job training, small-business lending help, and a $10 to $15 million fund dedicated to bolstering local businesses.
Gravel portrays this scene as part of a revolution, one as significant as the change triggered by the post war-boom that shaped a world around suburbs and cars. People want more than a lonely commute, and that desire will reshape our cities, he predicts.
Ryan Gravel has joined forces with Donray Von to launch an opportunity zone fund that plans to differentiate itself by creating ‘a company that combines real estate and economic development from project conception to completion’.