This old building on Freedom Drive will be the new home of socially minded organizations in Charlotte

This old building on Freedom Drive will be the new home of socially minded organizations in Charlotte
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Movement Mortgage makes money by getting people into homes. Now it’s going to give money away by creating a home for Charlotte nonprofits and socially conscious businesses.

The company’s nonprofit arm — the Movement Foundation — has purchased an old 40,000-square-foot industrial building on Freedom Drive and is completely gutting it to turn it into office space for organizations that will serve the westside community.

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Foundation directer Garrett McNeill said the $2 million project is a way to create a central space that will serve the neighborhood while maintaining its cultural integrity.

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Instead of paying, say, $20 per square foot and consuming as much as a third of a nonprofits budget, the Movement Foundation will charge something like $5 per square foot for space in the new building. That will allow organizations to dedicate more of their money toward their actual services.

Having everybody in the same building will also encourage collaboration and allow people who come by to get help for multiple things at the same time.

The building will have several shared spaces: a lobby, 1,000-square-foot classroom space and conference room. There will also be a shared clothing closet for multiple organizations that do clothing drives.

Six organizations have already locked up space, but there will eventually be seven to 10 in there.

(1) The Harvest Center. This will be the anchor tenant, taking up 9,000 square feet. The Christian organization serves the homeless with hot meals and shelters and runs a transitional program.

(2) Agape Love Christian Ministries. This group does case management, clothing and food services and is moving into education programs.

(3) TEAM. This organization serves mission trips. Their space wil be a library meets coffee shop.

(4) Karis Management Group. The appraisal management company gifts 99 percent of its profits.

(5) Center City Church. The big warehouse space will be home to the church’s worship center and will also be used throughout the week.

(6) Urban Promise. Develops leadership.

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Movement Mortgage has grown tremendously since it was founded in 2008 by former Carolina Panthers tight end Casey Crawford. Its employee base has gone from a few employees to 2,800.

The building on Freedom Drive marks a shift in how the company thinks about philanthropy, and Movement wants to ultimately replicate it in other markets around the country. It’s a neat concept: helping ministries in a way that’s sustainable even if Movement were to go away.

Movement hopes to get its certificate of occupancy this month and open/functioning by the second quarter of 2016.

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