Rising Tide Capital this week opened its new national headquarters in Jersey City, which includes a full-service business accelerator and affordable housing. — Courtesy: Rising Tide
By Joshua Burd
A nonprofit has unveiled its newly acquired headquarters in Jersey City, where it will combine affordable housing, classrooms and co-working space in support of underserved entrepreneurs.
The organization, Rising Tide Capital, on Tuesday marked the opening of the four-story building at 311 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, hailing it as one of the earliest investments in a federally designated Opportunity Zone in New Jersey. Known as 311 MLK, the property will serve multiple purposes toward the group’s mission of nurturing sustainable business in its community, housing what it describes as a full-service Urban Entrepreneurship Accelerator.
“Since our founding 15 years ago, my co-founder Alex Forrester and I have always envisioned creating a space that would serve as a hub for innovation and growth where our entrepreneurs —most of whom are economically disadvantaged — could gather under one roof to learn, collaborate, create and even live,” said Alfa Demmellash, co-founder and CEO of Rising Tide Capital. “311 MLK represents the realization of that vision and our commitment to the Greenville section of Jersey City, which has been our home since our founding.
“It is the keystone of the restorative investing model that we’ve spent the last 15 years developing and proving.”
The renovated building includes 5,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space, a courtyard, 10 units of affordable housing and a top floor commercial space with views of the New York City skyline. The site, which is within the city’s Bergen Lafayette section, is two blocks from the Hudson Bergen Light Rail and the new city hall annex building.
During a ceremony that drew state and local officials, the organization thanked Gov. Phil Murphy, Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, New Jersey Redevelopment Authority CEO Leslie Anderson and Mayor Steven Fulop for supporting the project.
“Without financing from NJRA it would not be possible,” Demmellash said. “This ribbon cutting is not just a commemoration of a building, but a reimagining of how we build communities and economies that are truly inclusive.”
Aside from the NJRA, the project drew support from entities including TD Bank and the city of. Other partners include JPMorgan Chase, Prudential Financial and TD + Partners.
“We are enormously proud to partner with Rising Tide Capital on this transformational redevelopment project,” Anderson said. “We work to mitigate risk and invest our resources in projects that positively impact the quality of life in New Jersey’s urban communities.
“311 MLK embodies our commitment to be there first by investing in communities that need it most. This project redevelops an underutilized property to ensure that local entrepreneurs thrive.”