September 14, 2020

Crime reduction in Racine & Kenosha through blight elimination

Crime reduction in Racine & Kenosha through blight elimination

As reported in Kenosha News and The Journal Times

Racine, WisconsinUrban and rural blight refers to buildings that have been abandoned and left to decay. Studies dating as far back as the 1920s have in various ways linked blighted properties to marked increases in neighborhood crime and reduced economic activity. Most studies focus on abandoned residential properties, but nationwide real estate investor Phoenix Investors noticed a pattern between its large-scale industrial redevelopments and crime reduction.

Phoenix Investors’ core business is the revitalization of former manufacturing facilities throughout the United States; as such, the company has significant experience in urban and rural blight abatement. Phoenix Investors owns over 30 million square feet of industrial real estate space spanning 21 states. A recent national survey conducted by NREI ranked Phoenix Investors as having the 28th largest total industrial real estate portfolio.

“Over a decade ago, our core focus shifted to the renovation of large former industrial plants, and I began to see a correlation between our redevelopments and crime reduction,” said Frank P. Crivello, Chairman & Founder, Phoenix Investors. “This pattern became quite clear across all states and impacted urban and rural blight in a similar way.”

Today, Phoenix Investors is by far the largest owner of industrial real estate in Wisconsin with over 9 million square feet across the state, including completed acqusitions in Racine, Mt. Pleasant, and Kenosha. Approximately seven years ago, Phoenix Investors acquired its first industrial property in Racine County at 7505 Durand Avenue, Mt. Pleasant. In 2016, Phoenix acquired industrial properties at 1220 Mound Drive, Racine and 3122 14th Avenue, Kenosha.

The Mt. Pleasant building was originally built in 1970 by Bosch Rexroth Corporation. The Racine building was built between 1906 and 1951 by Western Publishing. The Kenosha building was built in 1953 by Dynamatic Corporation, a division of Eaton Corporation. Each of the buildings had elements of blight and required renovation upon Phoenix’s acquisition.

In partnership with public partners in Mt. Pleasant, Racine, and Kenosha, Phoenix Investors renovated the buildings, resulting in blight reduction, improved economic activities, and success in attracting new tenants to the renovated buildings. “Most often when we complete a major industrial renovation, businesses and homes near our projects began to see investment and improvement,” said Frank P. Crivello. “Our renovations are a catalyst for investment and economic activity. We were pleased to see these changes begin in Racine and Kenosha and grateful for the support we received from local public partners.”

About Phoenix Investors

Founded by Frank P. Crivello in 1994, Phoenix Investors and its affiliates (collectively “Phoenix”) are a leader in the acquisition, development, renovation, and repositioning of industrial facilities throughout the United States. Utilizing a disciplined investment approach and successful partnerships with institutional capital sources, corporations, and public stakeholders, Phoenix has developed a proven track record of generating superior risk-adjusted returns, while providing cost-efficient lease rates for its growing portfolio of national tenants. Its efforts inspire and drive the transformation and reinvigoration of the economic engines in the communities it serves, currently encompassing over 30 million square feet.  Phoenix continues to be defined by thoughtful relationships, sophisticated investment tools, cost-efficient solutions, and a reputation for success.

Mr. Frank P. Crivello began his real estate career in 1982, focusing his investments in multifamily, office, industrial, and shopping center developments across the United States. From 1994 to 2008, Mr. Crivello assisted Phoenix Investors in its execution of its then business model of acquiring net lease commercial real estate across the United States. Since 2009, Mr. Crivello has assisted Phoenix Investors in the shift of its core focus to the acquisition of industrial real estate throughout the country.

Given his extensive experience in all aspects of commercial real estate, Mr. Crivello provides strategic and operational input to Phoenix Investors and its affiliated companies.

Mr. Crivello received a B.A., Magna Cum Laude, from Brown University and the London School of Economics, while completing a double major in Economics and Political Science; he is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Outside of his business interests, Mr. Crivello invests his time, energy, and financial support across a wide net of charitable projects and organizations.

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