Frequently Asked Questions.
What is NEIC's mission?
NEIC's mission is to leverage member-owners’ investments to purchase and rejuvenate stressed and poorly utilized residential and commercial properties in Northeast Minneapolis. Consistent with the principles and spirit of the cooperative movement, NEIC makes long-term, stabilizing, and transformative investments for the mutual benefit of our member-owners and our community
What type of business is NEIC?
NEIC is formally organized as a cooperative under 2014 Minnesota Statutes, section 308(A).
Why a Cooperative?
The cooperative model is an innovative vehicle for community investment with many advantages over traditional models. A
cooperative operates democratically on a one-member, one-vote basis, so that all members have equal voting power. Because a
cooperative is a for-profit business it can provide members with a modest return on their investment. A cooperative also typically
focuses on multiple bottom lines, including improving a community’s social and economic capital. For NEIC, this means giving Northeast Minneapolis residents a way to work together to make long-term, stabilizing, and strategic investments that will help transform our community.
How is NEIC governed?
NEIC is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors which oversee three standing committees (Property & Tenant, Finance & Governance, and Membership & Marketing). The Board of Directors has monthly meeting. All NEIC members are welcome to attend.
How does NEIC select its development projects?
When selecting properties, NEIC is guided by common concerns in our community, including absentee owners, stressed buildings, safety, and a lack of positive activity on our main commercial corridors. Our ideal tenants are independently-owned, community-minded businesses or organizations that are interested in expanding or relocating to Northeast Minneapolis and are drawn to the prospect of renting space from 200+ community residents who care about their success.
So NEIC is cooperative, does that mean you are non-profit?
Nope, NEIC is a for-profit cooperative real estate development organization. We aim to operate at a profit, with the potential to pay dividends to our investors or used to build capital for another development. We work with non-profit fiscal agents to apply for grants and receive tax deductible donations.
Who can become a member owner?
Any individual or business living within the state of Minnesota can become a member. Businesses that become members direct a proxy vote from the organization for voting in elections and for bylaw changes.
What if you become a member and move away from Minnesota?
Since you lived in Minnesota when you became a member, you can retain your membership when you move to another state.
How much does it cost to join?
A membership share in NEIC, called an “A-share,” costs $1,000. All member-owners have one vote in any decision subject to direct member control and are eligible to run for a place on the Board of Directors.
Can I invest more than the $1,000 base membership?
Member-owners have an opportunity to invest additional funds to support NEIC’s future property purchases. The Board of Directors will issue different share classes "C-shares" of $500/share and "D-shares" of $5,000/share. Depending on when these shares are issued, there may be a modest dividend or interest rate associated with them. No matter how much any individual member-owner has invested, he or she is only entitled to one vote.
What kind of return do I get on my investment?
As with any investment in a security, NEIC does not guarantee a specific rate of return on our members investments. Each year the Board of Directors evaluates the net income for the year and the ability for NEIC to issue dividends and/or capital credit account allocations. In 2015 NEIC issued a 4.17% capital credit account allocation on A-shares and 2% and 4% dividends on C/D shares.
Can I sell my membership back?
While all NEIC owners should understand that they are making a long-term, patient investment by joining NEIC, we also know that lives and circumstances can change. For this reason, our bylaws do provide a method for member-owners to request that NEIC buy out their shares in advance of a formal call for redemption by the Board of Directors. NEIC reserves the right to not sell back shares if this action would compromise the financial stability of NEIC. If at some point you find yourself needing to explore this option, please contact the Board of Directors to discuss it.