Signs of Progress Series: U7 Project Manager Isabel Chanslor

October 16, 2013

The new vitality that’s developing along the Central Corridor comes from something more than the fresh concrete and shiny steel of the Green Line. Communities are transforming themselves — by learning together, coordinating across boundaries and working for impacts that benefit everyone.

At the Annual Stakeholder event in April, seven representatives of these efforts talked to other community stakeholders about the process and impact of the changes we see unfolding across the corridor. This is the fourth in a series of blogs featuring these signs of opportunity. Watch a short video clip of remarks by U7 Project Manager Isabel Chanslor, and see below for a summary.











Isabel described the continuum of investment and improvements that is transforming the Central Corridor, from big brand new developments to small business owners investing in individual improvements one storefront at a time. She presented three improvement projects recently completed by small business owners in partnership with U7.   

  • The owners of Ha Tien have invested in a façade improvement project that keeps the feel of their Art Deco building while promoting their popular Asian deli and market. They also remodeled the interior of the store and brought the deli to the front for greater visibility.
  • May’s Market, at the intersection of Western and University, also completed a major façade improvement. The owner of the building invested in all the signage and façade improvements for the individual businesses leasing space in the building. Isabel points out that this project is a great example of a visual demonstration of the Little Mekong cultural district.  
  • The third example that Isabel highlighted is a brand new beauty salon, Xtreme Beauty, in Frogtown Square.  

As of April 2013, U7 has completed loans for almost $1.5M (of total project cost) with about $500,000 of investment from the business owners in the Little Mekong district along University Avenue. U7 would like to replicate these results along all of University Avenue and continue the work of providing loans along with façade improvements to help business owners stay and thrive in the community.

Watch for upcoming posts featuring more highlights from the event.