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Building a Lasting Partnership

Milwaukee, WI

Husch Blackwell’s Communities for Change initiative has walked alongside Milwaukee real estate developer One 5 Olive since early 2021, helping the company grow in both revenue and influence and building a valuable partnership.

Since its 2016 founding, minority-owned One 5 Olive has been dedicated to stabilizing and revitalizing neighborhoods throughout the City of Milwaukee. The organization was first introduced to Husch Blackwell shortly after the November 2020 launch of Communities for Change, making One 5 one of the program’s first clients. One 5 has since helped the firm build further inroads in the Milwaukee construction market and has served as an active partner in the firm’s annual Cream City Conference for minority contractors and entrepreneurs.

Husch Blackwell's impact

One 5 first approached Husch Blackwell for assistance with both private party agreements and public agreements with the government during real estate development projects. Over the first two years of our partnership, the firm has helped the company grow in revenue and in local influence—and in 2023, Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson reached out to One 5 for help with his Homes MKE initiative. Homes MKE aims to renovate up to 150 vacant houses from the city’s list of tax-foreclosed residential properties, returning them to use. Mayor Johnson hired One 5 to assist with 20 blighted properties.

One 5, which will serve in a general contractor role for the properties, turned to Husch Blackwell for help negotiating and drafting their agreements with the current property owner, a land trust. The project will significantly grow One 5’s headcount—achieving a core Communities for Change objective of creating jobs—as well as the organization’s local reputation.

“It’s programs like Communities for Change that help level the playing field and give minority entrepreneurs a fighting chance to succeed,” said co-owner David Griggs. “The opportunity to have exceptional legal counsel at no cost to our business has been paramount to our growth as a company and sets the foundation up for lasting success.”

About HB Communities for Change

Since November 2020, Husch Blackwell has provided pro bono legal counsel to numerous minority-owned businesses that would otherwise not have access. Through this work, the firm helps entrepreneurs realize their goals, which positively impacts their communities in the process—a ripple effect that transforms lives.