Thursday, March 29, 2012

Local eco-developer's $2.6 million crowdsourcing campaign

Posted By on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 11:13 AM

Generally, when someone cold-calls a journalist and tells a sad story of the world conspiring against them, the truth tends to be muddier. And the more you look into it, the muddier this sort of thing tends to get. 

In the case of Cassie Price, though, and her dad Ross Taylor — who are trying to save their eco-development near Dishman-Mica from foreclosure — the picture just kept getting clearer.

The more experts we talked to, the more people said it was a great bit of ethical development in a good location and a solid financial upside. Green builders think it's a no-brainer. Greater Spokane Incorporated thinks it'll bring $175-180 million to the area in addition to 50 living-wage jobs.

So what's holding it up? Investors, banks, investment bankers, Brad Pitt —Price asked everyone and no one is interested in lending. They told her "Cool project, too bad it's now. Wait 5 years," Price told us. But of course, they don't have five years. Their lender could seize the land as early as April 30.

The only problem is the money. Price couldn't get it from traditional sources, so she decided to go very, very non-traditional. She took it to the people.

Yesterday, as our story was going to print, Cassie Price started a $2.6 million crowdsourcing campaign on the website IndieGoGo (functionally similar to the much-buzzed-about Kickstarter).

It raised $3500 in its first few hours of existence. It needs to raise much much more.

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About The Author

Luke Baumgarten

Luke Baumgarten is commentary contributor and former culture editor of the Inlander. He is a creative strategist at Seven2 and co-founder of Terrain.