Client: Johnny Opara, owner of JO Companies
Client Location: St. Paul, MN
CDFI: Greater Minnesota Housing Fund
CDFI Service Area: MN
Financing and technical assistance, with support from the Finance Justice Fund
Since 2018, JO Companies has worked collaboratively with the City of St. Paul to develop high-quality, energy efficient and equitable development on the east side of the city. One of the company’s latest projects is The Hollows, a four story, 62 unit multifamily workforce housing development. When JO Companies owner, Johnny Opara, needed capital to cover pre-development expenses, including architects and civil engineering, he contacted Greater Minnesota Housing Fund.
The Hollows project is transformative for Johnny Opara and the Downtown and Lowertown neighborhoods of St. Paul. Before Johnny’s involvement as sole developer and owner of the property, the project site had been vacant since 1996 and used for overflow parking. This multifamily workforce development brings newly constructed homes overlooking the Mississippi River and access to housing for Metro State University.
“The tide is turning. This community deserves just as much as other St. Paul communities are getting, in regard to new housing stock… GMHF definitely played a big role with their financial support in getting the project across the finish line,” Johnny said.