First and foremost, we would like to thank everyone who supported our end of the year fundraising drive. Our objective was to raise $300,000 to support our two main interconnected projects for 2019: a) expanding our Community Land Trust (CLT) with the purchase and first stage development of the Ida B. Wells Plaza and b) initiating the development of our Ewing Street Eco-Village Pilot Project, which entails regenerating the land with a permaculture based landscaping redesign and the installation of our first digitally fabricated housing and communal facilities.
Thanks to the generosity of hundreds of supporters, we were able to raise over $270,000 during the end of the year fundraising drive. This was a major success in our view, as it enables us to advance the first critical phase of our drive to Hold the Fortification Line and play a critical role in the bottom up redevelopment of West Jackson. To be more specific, we are now completing the process of purchasing the plaza and will be kickstarting our landscaping operations on the Ewing Street Eco-Village Pilot Project in March.
With the groundwork to secure the Fortification Line thankfully in our rearview mirror, we are now preparing to execute the second phase of this development, which will commence in the fall of 2019. The basic outlines of the second phase entail: Turning the Grocery unit of the plaza into a multipurpose space that will house a) a hydroponic and aquaponic growing operation, b) a cafe and catering operation, c) a venue to host local artisans and d) a venue to host weekly and/or monthly farmers markets and swap meets. Installing the first digitally fabricated structures on Ewing Street and renovating the 2 existing structures on the block currently in our CLT holdings to make them fully inhabitable.
In order to execute the second phase of this plan, we are going to have to raise an estimated $500,000. We plan on doing this through an ongoing fundraising drive to elicit as many personal donations as possible to raise this amount. But, we are also opening ourselves up to take in personal investments and our first loans to meet this challenge.
We welcome the challenge and plan on wasting no time in taking it on. To this end, we are commencing our solicitation drive now to start raising the necessary funds. We encourage everyone who supports the development of the commons, community-centered development, regenerative production and economic democracy to join us in this effort. Please give as generously as you can and encourage your family, friends, colleagues, comrades and fellow cooperators to do the same.
You can make a tax deductible donation online at https://cooperationjackson.org/donate/. You can also donate via check or money order made out to Cooperation Jackson and mail it to Cooperation Jackson at P.O. Box 1932, Jackson, MS 39215.
We also encourage everyone to monitor our progress and hold us accountable by joining our mailing list to receive monthly updates and ask us questions. You can also follow our progress on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CooperationJackson or on Twitter at @CooperationJXN.