Husch Blackwell’s Communities for Change initiative has walked alongside Milwaukee real estate developer One 5 Olive since early 2021, helping the company grow in revenue and impact and building a valuable partnership.

Since its founding in 2016, minority-owned One 5 Olive has been dedicated to stabilizing and revitalizing neighborhoods throughout the city of Milwaukee. The organization was first introduced to Husch Blackwell shortly after the launch of Communities for Change in November 2020, making One 5 one of the program’s first clients. Since then, One 5 has helped the company build further inroads into the Milwaukee construction market and served as an active partner in the company’s annual Cream City conference for minority contractors and entrepreneurs.

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One 5 first approached Husch Blackwell for assistance with both private party agreements and public agreements with the government during real estate development projects. Over the first two years of our partnership, the company helped the company grow in revenue and local impact — and in 2023, Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson reached out to One 5 for help with his Homes MKE initiative. Homes MKE aims to renovate up to 150 vacant homes from the city’s list of tax-exempt residential properties and bring them back into use. Mayor Johnson hired One 5 to assist with 20 blighted properties.

One 5, which will serve as general contractor for the properties, has turned to Husch Blackwell to help negotiate and draft its agreements with the current property owner, the land trust. The project will significantly increase One 5’s headcount – achieving Communities for Change’s primary goal of job creation – as well as the organisation’s local reputation.

“It’s programs like Communities for Change that help level the playing field and give minority entrepreneurs a fighting chance to succeed,” said co-owner David Griggs. “The opportunity to obtain exceptional legal counsel at no cost to our business has been critical to our growth as a company and sets the foundation for lasting success.”

About HB Communities for Change

Since November 2020, Husch Blackwell has provided free legal advice to many minority-owned businesses that would otherwise be inaccessible. Through this work, the company helps entrepreneurs achieve their goals, positively impacting their communities in the process – a ripple effect that changes lives.

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