Help transform a house & rejuvenate an aging neighborhood in Peoria, Illinois by using local small businesses.
Erik Reader
Peoria, Illinois
United States
1 Team Member


Man Seeking Help to Revitalize Community: WMBD31

Local man trying new method to revitalize Peoria's neighborhoods: WCBU 89.9FM



Revitalizing an urban neighborhood one house at a time.


What if you could directly invest in a business trying to do good for the community? What if you could fix an old, rundown house? What if you could advocate change in a deteriorating neighborhood? What if, while doing all of that you could help many other small businesses along the way? 

My mission when starting Reader Area Development back in 2011, was to be something more than just some "property flipper" or big-time corporate real estate developer. I am looking to take a socially responsible approach to renovating a home, preserving a historic neighborhood, and restoring resiliency to a community.

It's gone on for too long...

We've done everything from applying misguided efforts to treat the symptoms plaguing our cities to just flat out moving away from the problem. The city of the future isn't in some soon-to-be-built area on the outside periphery, but on the inside, the urban core where it all started. It's time we repair our aging neighborhoods by moving back to them.

This may not be a registered landmarked home, but history runs deep in this neighborhood all the way back to the mid-1800's. This home could very well be the next on the chopping blocks for demolition if it is left for dead. Help me change that!

Business after business has left for greener pastures making it even harder for people to work where they live, and shop within a walking distance. By using smaller, nearby businesses for renovations it can help keep those businesses from boarding up as well.

More than a one man job!

I wish I could do it all alone. I wish banks would understand that by lending to a small startup business they are helping the community and by helping my business they would be directly repairing wounds in decaying neighborhoods - but they don't. This is a community revitalization project, so I'm reaching out to the community to help launch it.

You can contribute any amount of your choice or directly sponsor any item that is going to be needed to be purchased during the renovation. You can sponsor:

  • Roofing
  • Gutters
  • Windows & Doors
  • Landscaping & tree removal
  • Drywall repair
  • Interior & Exterior painting
  • Carpet, title & flooring
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Kitchen & Bath
  • Appliances

Why 5?

$5,000 is what it took to purchase this home. This home will need more than $5,000 to bring it back to life, roughly between $15,000-20,000. But $5,000 is a start. The goal is to use as many small, local businesses as possible - admittedly, a tougher task than what it should be. That's where YOU come in. Your support will help me replace the little things and big things from top to bottom.

For me, this isn't a one time deal. I don't want to just renovate one home, but create a system that builds a resilient community by keep more money in the community all while paying specifc detail to how it affects the entire neighborhood. 

Each dollar invested in this home will not only help on this project, but carry over to future projects.


This is your chance to own a newly remodeled home near downtown, the scenic riverfront, great parks, and be in the heart of all the action!

Your contribution, whether it is $1 or $100 means you are ready to start improving things now! I don't know how to thank you, but I'll try. You can even show the locals how RAD you are. The GO URBAN t-shirt was specially designed for this project. Wear your support on your sleeve!

Bring the hammer

This is a community effort with many possible partners. If you are interested, you can help in many ways. Please send this project to your friends. Use the "share tools" to link to this effort via Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Donating time, money, energy, or spirit goes a long way. This is a chance for the average, ordinary citizen to do something extraordinary!

The time is now

Follow me and Go Urban at: to find out even more about the project, progress updates, news, and how you are helping turn a house into a home.



I still have questions, who do I ask?

Just email me -

When will my perk be delivered?

Shipping Date: April 29, 2013

*Partner in Preservation Perk will be delivered immediately. Immediately following you will receive an email to supply your name or company logo and information regarding blog entry.

+Terms of Preferred Business will be arranged at time of estimate.

Is shipping included?

Yes, all perks include domestic shipping costs. International shipping will be added at time of donation.

Join the RAD movement!

There are a few ways you can help:

1. Pick a perk!

With your purchase, you'll be making a real difference in the neighborhood.

2. Tell your friends about GO URBAN!

Share the link to this site on all your social media platforms.

3. Support the #GOURBAN trend

Every Friday at 12:00pm CST I will tweet #GOURBAN to make it a trend. To make it work, follow me and tweet with what improvements you would like to see in your city followed by #GOURBAN. Together, we'll inspire change.





Thank You!


A big thank you to Deverman Advertising for putting my idea into images!  

Special thanks to Justin Ricke for the GO URBAN T-shirt design:

Find This Campaign On
raised in 1 month
36% funded
No time left
$5,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on April 17, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $1USD
    Little By Little

    A little goes a long way. The President (of Reader Area Development) will send a personalized email thanking you for your support.

    0 claimed
  • $5USD
    Greetings From Peoria!

    You might not make it to Peoria, so I'll send you a postcard thanking you for helping me along my journey.

    0 claimed
  • $30USD
    GO URBAN Offical T-Shirt

    Paint the town in this new shirt, literally. (Specify size in comments section)

    10 claimed
  • $40USD
    GO URBAN Offical Tote

    Bring your own bag the next time you're buying local at the farmer's market.

    3 claimed
  • $100USD
    Carrying The Weight

    The official GO URBAN tote + t-shirt and a comemmorative brick.

    3 claimed
  • $250USD
    Partner In Preservation

    Your name or company logo on my website for 6 months and a featured blog entry. The world will know you make big things happen.

    2 claimed
  • $500USD
    Pedal Peoria

    A bike ride in your honor will be held in the neighborhood. Money raised from this perk goes towards bicycle advocacy in the neighborhood.

    0 out of 1 claimed
  • $1,000USD
    Better Than A Bank

    As a project collaborator, you want to see projects like this continue. You get the shirt, the web sponsorship, invitation to become a Preferred Business and an invite to the open house.

    0 claimed
  • $40,000USD
    Shut The Front Door

    You can do whatever you want. You just bought a home!

    0 out of 1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2013
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