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Diversity : Development News

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Catalyst helps business get out of the spare room, onto Broadway

Calvin Littlejohn had had enough of running his small construction business out of a spare bedroom.

Since founding Tri-Construction, Inc., in 2001, Littlejohn and business partner Lester Royal had made the move from residential to commercial construction. But they were still "Mickey Mouse-in' it," as Littlejohn puts it.

That's why he likes their new office at 1200 W. Broadway, a building developed by Catalyst Community Partners.

"We can have clients come over to the office, use the conference room. It adds another layer," he says. "That much more professionalism."

Catalyst is a developer with a mission: reviving business along commercial avenues in the most troubled urban areas, particularly along West Broadway on Minneapolis' north side. That's where Catalyst lays claim to more redevelopment (in partnership with board member Stuart Ackerberg's The Ackerberg Group) than any other developer.

That's also where Littlejohn went looking for office space so he could move Tri-Construction out of his home. "We wanted to stay in North Minneapolis," he says, but suitable space was hard to find on West Broadway. "I don't think there was anything."

Tri-Construction has also won contracts with Catalyst. The firm's minority-owned status brings opportunity, he says, but not business, which requires performing better than everyone.

"The thing I like about what Catalyst does is, they see a need within the community, development that needs to take place," Littlejohn says. "They are coming in, putting their money where their mouth is. Put [buildings] in, allow commerce to do the rest."

Source: Calvin Littlejohn, Tri-Construction, Inc.
Writer: Chris Steller

61 Diversity Articles | Page: | Show All
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