Cinnaire launched the Jumpstart Wilmington program in 2020 to help residents of Wilmington, Delaware, become developers of their own neighborhoods through quality, community-focused real estate development training and financing options. The program was modeled after the original Jumpstart Germantown program created by Ken Weinstein to facilitate the revitalization of the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia through high quality residential renovations.
Like many communities across the country, Wilmington has grappled with the consequences of discriminatory housing policies that drove residential segregation and shut Black Americans out of the primary source of wealth-building in America – homeownership. This created a vicious cycle–the devaluation of assets in Black communities fueling abandonment and blight.
Wilmington has more than 1,700 vacant and blighted homes that have been widely viewed as contributing to crime, drug use, and community instability. To address this issue, Cinnaire has been working to both acquire and develop properties in Wilmington and attract more developers from within the community.
Increased local developer capacity is the key to revitalizing communities more rapidly and residents of Wilmington communities are a key resource to effect positive change in their neighborhoods.
Jumpstart Wilmington provides aspiring developers in Wilmington communities with the skills, knowledge, and support they need to rehabilitate key properties, one at a time.
Watch this video to hear Jumpstart participants share their experience
In its first two years, Jumpstart Wilmington provided training for over 60 aspiring developers, setting them on the path to being successful agents of change in their neighborhoods.
How Jumpstart Wilmington Works
Jumpstart Wilmington participants begin the program by taking part in training sessions consisting of 14 hours of classes covering nine key development topics.
Sessions feature multiple knowledgeable presenters who have extensive experience in the local real estate market and a deep involvement in Wilmington neighborhoods. More importantly, the presenters share a common bond with Jumpstart participants — all are committed to addressing long-standing community and economic development issues, such as reducing blight, creating safe and affordable housing, revitalizing neighborhoods, and keeping resources and capital in Wilmington.
Upon completion of the training program, graduates are paired with an experienced developer who can provide one-on-one mentorship — advising them on deal structuring, property sourcing, and problem-solving strategies. In addition to the intensive training program, participants are invited to take part in ongoing complementary programming throughout the year.
“The Jumpstart training program is intensive. It’s not just a workshop talking about high-level concepts. It is a soup to nuts resource where you learn about contracts, licensing, how to manage a property, financing, environmental concerns…everything was covered.”
Quincy WatkinsWilmington Business Owner
“There is a mission-driven component when you are developing housing in your own neighborhood. You could make more money investing outside of Wilmington, but when you understand you’re not just investing in yourself but in your community—that is the heart of the matter.”
Ivey Ibrahim Central Baptist Community Development Corporation
“One of the most valuable components of Jumpstart is that it introduces participants to a variety of key stakeholders who helped us learn best practices. We met people in city and state departments, contractors, architects, licensing & inspection inspectors—the people that make a project possible.”
Listen to Podcasts describing the Jumpstart Wilmington program
The Jumpstart Wilmington Training Program consists of four three-hour sessions, each covering a range of development topics. Participants learn how to find development opportunities, assess the economics of a deal, put together financing, navigate the development process and sell or lease rehabbed properties. Upon completion of the program, participants are paired with seasoned developers to mentor them through their foray into real estate development.
- Cinnaire has launched the Jumpstart Wilmington Loan Program to provide financing for acquisition and renovation of residential and commercial mixed-use properties in Wilmington neighborhoods. The Loan Program is available to both experienced and novice developers who have completed the Jumpstart Wilmington Training Program.
Kickstart Sessions are monthly webinars, led by experienced professionals, that focus on specific development topics. These sessions are open to the broader development community
Developer Network Events
Developer Network Events are designed to facilitate relationship-building and foster networks and partnerships between Jumpstart Wilmington program participants and members of the development community.
For more information on our Jumpstart Wilmington Program, contact:
Vice President, Community Development