When the mall came up for sale last year, community groups analyzed proposed redevelopment plans and argued against them, arguing that the new housing that was planned for the site would end up displacing thousands of people who lived nearby. “That’s typically how organizations engage—we don’t like the project, we say don’t build it. They say build it. And then we come to some consensus where everybody’s not really happy, right?” he says. Goodmon and others started talking about an alternative: Instead of continuing to negotiate for months with a prospective owner, they could try to raise the millions of dollars necessary to buy the building themselves.