Who We Are

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Sara Joy Proppe, Founder

Sara Joy Proppe (‘Pro-pay’) has a passion for cities, stories, and the Church. She loves to imagine how churches can be active and faithful participants in city planning and development in order to bring hope and redemption to the setting of our stories. In 2014, she began Proximity Project as an avenue to integrate her faith and her work. She desires to equip churches to be strategic stewards of their properties for the common good within the contexts of their neighborhoods. Through the avenues of placemaking and real estate development, she empowers churches to connect their mission and their story to their physical place in the neighborhood in creative and dynamic ways.

Sara Joy’s professional experience includes several years of private real estate development, managing over $100 million of new market-rate development, affordable housing, and historic rehabilitation projects. As a passionate placemaker and educator, she co-developed a placemaking workshop and toolkit, which she leads in small and mid-size Main Street communities throughout the Midwest. She also regularly teaches an Introduction to Small-Scale Development class for the City of Minneapolis.

Sara Joy writes and speaks on several local and national platforms about the intersections of theology, placemaking, and design for dignity. She sits on the Congress for the New Urbanism – Members Christian Caucus Board, is a committed member of her community garden, and an avid bicyclist and cook. Sara Joy holds a B.A in English Literature and a Masters in Community & Regional Planning.