Real Estate Lab grads get financing from People First

Jon Strauss (Director of Real Estate Lab), Margaret McConnell (People First), Ibrahim (Abe) Abbakar (Lab participant), Jonathan Mieses (Lab Participant), Ryan Kinnon (People First), Sean Roth (Lab participant) PHOTO/SUBMITTED/ Brennan Long

The first graduates of the Real Estate Lab in Allentown now have access to capital.

The free program teaches downtown Allentown residents how to invest in real estate and manage properties in their community.

Now People First Federal Credit Union of Allentown is providing financing for those graduates. It is the first financial institution to do so.

“Access to friendly financing is so critical for first-time investors,” said Real Estate Lab Program Director Jon Strauss. “We appreciate People First stepping up and being the first financial institution to finance our graduates. By doing so, the participants are developing the bankability necessary for success in the industry. We want to make sure more people have access to do the same.”

The Real Estate Lab was launched in January 2020 by City Center Investment Corp., the real estate development company responsible for much of the revitalization in downtown Allentown, and Lafayette College’s Dyer Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

The Real Estate Lab offers several free programs at no cost, including a 10-week First-time Investor Program, a Real Estate Entrepreneurship Access Program and an Investor Club. Participants are taught how to acquire, rehabilitate and manage real estate.

The lab had nine graduates in its first year. Three of those now own and manage their own investment property.