The seven-story project development is to be built on 23rd Avenue and East Spring Street. Besides 126 low-cost rental units, the Africatown Plaza will include an art collection, community room, and retail spaces. Tenants will be people making below 60% of the area median income.
The Project Tries to Counterbalance Years of Gentrification in the Area
Home prices have skyrocketed over the past years due to gentrification in this historically Black neighborhood, it will enable traditional residents to remain in the area. Housing statistics show that the Black population had shrunk to 20% by 2016 due to the inability to pay high rents in newly built or renovated high-end housing.
Africatown Project Is Worth $96 Million
The realization of this project required a joint effort by many organizations. Africatown partnered with nonprofit manufacturer Forterra and private developer Lake Union Partners to acquire the land. The affordable housing developer Community Roots Housing will be responsible for construction. The project will be funded by Africatown, Community Roots, the city of Seattle and King County, Washington, and many others.
The Project Aims to Maximize Empowerment in the Black Community
K. Wyking Garrett, president, and CEO of Africatown Community Land Trust, told the press that the goal is to break ground on a new normal based on equity. Mayor Bruce Harrell, who grew up in the neighborhood, hailed the project.