Chase Cantrell, Building Community Value

Chase Cantrell founded Building Community Value (BCV) in spring 2016 as a way to promote redevelopment in Detroit’s neighborhoods outside the central business district. He practiced corporate and real estate law in Detroit for several years before quitting to start the nonprofit.

As an attorney, Cantrell negotiated purchases and sales, architectural and contractor agreements, and crunched numbers for real estate projects. He was living in Brush Park and working at the Renaissance Center, areas which he described as being in a “development bubble.” But when he would visit friends and family in other parts of the city, he saw that development wasn’t happening in an equitable fashion.

He launched BCV to do development work, train other Detroiters how to do small-scale developments, and help fund their projects.

“I’ve been doing this for clients for seven years—I should be doing this for the community.”