EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — "I want to invest in East St. Louis," park organizer Thomas Brown told 5 On Your Side, "I believe in the potential that it holds. I believe in the people of East St. Louis."
Thomas Brown already invested time into East St. Louis through his non-profit, BuildN The Foundation (BTF). The group participates in community clean up days and events for children.
Now Brown is investing his own money into East St. Louis and said, "I seen a sign from some realtor, and he wanted like $12,000 or some odd dollars for it, and I just went for it."
Putting his own money down for a dream ... a park with dining space, a raised stage area, parking for food trucks, space for brick-and-mortar businesses and a security fence.
Brown is keeping the location of the park to himself because he wants to purchase surrounding properties.
"I know if they find out this is what is going on, they're going to try and charge me a whole lot more," Brown told 5 On Your Side.
His next step is finding donors, a slow-going process.
As of Friday afternoon, the East St. Louis Entertainment and Food Truck Park Go Fund Me page has only one contributor.
Down at City Hall, East St. Louis Mayor Robert Eastern III is cheering him on.
"I'm routing for him. You know we are here to support him in all the ways that we can support him. I think it's excellent. Somebody from East St. Louis that wants to bring a business back home is outstanding."
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