Devean George Rumors

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Devean George
Devean George
Position: None
Born: 08/29/77
Height: 6-8 / 2.03
Weight:225 lbs. / 102.1 kg.
“It’s the ‘Devean George effect,’ ” said Jeff Washburne, the longtime executive director of the City of Lakes Community Land Trust, a North Side nonprofit that’s helped 200 working-class families buy refurbished city homes. “He’s a star and he’s a team player. He’s focused on this neighborhood with time and investment. He’s told us that every resident of his Commons at Penn development who is able to buy a house from us means success, and an available apartment for the next family that needs one.”
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Devean George, a real estate developer with a heart who also was a pretty good basketball player, made an inaugural investment in north Minneapolis in 2006 that is about to reap a nice return for working-poor families and his old neighborhood. This summer, George will break ground on Commons at Penn Avenue, a 45-unit apartment building that will include retail shops. It also will house several nonprofits that work with families on education, training and employment. George has fronted or borrowed nearly $450,000 to cover predevelopment costs, including land acquisition and three years of planning. “It all starts with stable housing,” said George last week, sipping a cup of coffee at Sammy’s Eatery on W. Broadway. “Education, training, a job and maybe, one day, a family moves on to buy a house. This will work because I have all these good partners.”
Near the end of his playing career, George had a vision for his future. It included real estate and bettering people’s lives. “I wanted to become a person that helped people. There are a lot of people that suffer that aren’t involved in the bad stuff going on,” said George, 35. “I figured out that playing basketball was not the end goal. I figured out that me playing basketball was probably just to set up for what I’m doing now. It is more of me being put in position to be able to help people and have a voice.”
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Devean George wants to bring a sense of hope to the north Minneapolis intersection of Golden Valley Road and Penn Avenue. The Minneapolis native, former Augsburg College star and NBA player is taking aim at the same stretch of neighborhood where he grew up dribbling a basketball and later witnessed a random drive-by killing of an 11-year-old boy that shook the city. The change will come in the form of 45 affordable housing units, built on top of an outreach program for community youth that he calls George’s Building Blocks.