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Investing in Nico Echo Park 101

Author: Nico
Date: March 3, 2020
1461 Sunset Boulevard is one of the buildings in the Nico Echo Park portfolio

Nico is a new type of investment company that makes it possible for people who love their neighborhood to build a long-term financial stake in their community. That’s what Nico stands for—the Neighborhood Investment Company.

We believe that everybody should have the opportunity to build wealth by investing in real estate within their community and that if more people are able to participate as financial stakeholders, it will help the community thrive over time. 

Nico’s Business Model

To make investing in local real estate fair, flexible, and community-focused Nico has created a first of its kind company called a Neighborhood REIT – which we are launching in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. The first Neighborhood REIT is called Nico Echo Park, Benefit Corp. 

What’s a Neighborhood REIT?

A real estate investment trust (REIT) is a type of company that owns a portfolio of income-producing properties that people can invest in. A Neighborhood REIT means all properties owned are located in a specific neighborhood—in this case, in and around the Echo Park neighborhood in the City of Los Angeles. 

The Neighborhood REIT uses investments from local shareholders and other investors to buy rental properties in the neighborhood. These properties are professionally managed for cash flow and long-term appreciation so that investors benefit as the value of the buildings increases over time. 

Nico Echo Park is organized as a benefit corporation, meaning that the company has chosen to measure its success by balancing financial returns to its investors (including local shareholders) with the social and environmental impact of the business on the community. 

What properties does Nico Echo Park own?

1461 Sunset Boulevard, 1412-16 Echo Park Avenue, 1650 Echo Park Avenue

Our investment portfolio currently owns three rent-stabilized, multi-family and mixed-use apartment buildings across Echo Park. These three buildings comprise 80 residential apartments and four commercial properties housing local businesses:

  • 1461 Sunset Boulevard—a 1920s mixed-use building with 20 apartments and four retail stores on the ground floor.
  • 1412-16 Echo Park Avenue—a 32-unit bungalow with 11 distinct structures connected by a series of courtyards.
  • 1650 Echo Park Avenue—a 28-unit art deco brick apartment building.

When Nico Echo Park invests in future properties, it will focus on properties in Echo Park and proximate communities within the City of Los Angeles, California. As a shareholder, you own shares in the company that owns both the current properties and all future investments made by Nico Echo Park. 

Getting your investment started

Ready to get started on investing in Nico Echo Park!?

You can set up an account with an initial investment of $100. As part of the process for setting up an account, we’ll verify your identity with the help of a trusted third party identity verification service. That process will take a few minutes and will involve answering a number of questions about yourself.

How does my investment make money?

As the value of your investment with Nico Echo Park grows over time, there are two ways to realize the gains generated:

  1. Through quarterly dividends: Shareholders will have the opportunity to either receive or reinvest dividends on those earnings. Each quarter, Nico Echo Park’s management team, under the supervision of the board of directors, will review the portfolio’s performance and decide whether to pay out a dividend to shareholders. If a quarterly dividend is approved and you’ve chosen not to reinvest it, we’ll mail you a check to the address you’ve provided us.
  2. Through our quarterly stock redemption plan: This plan allows shareholders to make a request to redeem the value of their shares once a quarter. The reason we limit when investments can be withdrawn is to maintain greater stability in the fund for all investors. While Nico Echo Park is not obligated to honor redemption requests, we will make our best effort to fulfil them when they’re made.

Since investments with Nico Echo Park are not accessible in the same way that savings in a bank account are, we encourage everybody who invests in Nico Echo Park to view their investment as one with a long-term horizon and to keep in mind that money invested may not be withdrawn on short notice. 

Why Echo Park?

We believe real estate in Echo Park is an investment with good long-term fundamentals. It has a vibrant culture and a strong local economy, it’s highly walkable, it’s home to the Dodgers, has great local restaurants, cafes, and shops, and it’s close to a major center of jobs with its proximity to downtown Los Angeles. It’s a neighborhood that is truly beloved by those that call it home. 

Simultaneously, Echo Park is a neighborhood with a relatively low rate of home-ownership—this means that relatively few of the 45,000 or so people who call the neighborhood home are currently financial stakeholders. 

Nico’s model for community-driven local investment is new and Echo Park is a neighborhood that has a history of innovation  and openness to new and different ideas. We think the people who live and work in Echo Park are eager to invest in their community and that increasing the number of local stakeholders who are able to build wealth by investing locally could lead to some pretty special outcomes for the community over time.

Still confused about how to start investing in Nico Echo Park? No worries, we’ve got you covered! View our FAQ page here or reach on our contact us page.