Through a formal partnership announced recently, Centerstone is working together with nonprofit organizers Africatown, Black Community Impact Alliance (BCIA), and Capitol Hill Housing (CHH) on equitable development plans in the Central District. One of our first projects: redeveloping the lot that was once home to Liberty Bank, the first black-owned bank in the Pacific Northwest.
Our goal is to give a voice to Black residents in Seattle throughout the development of the new building. We want to honor the bank’s legacy, and ensure the building’s ownership reflects the Black community. Earlier this year, Mayor Ed Murray announced plans to work with the community nonprofits to honor the bank’s legacy in the Central District. We are excited to see our community unite to ensure this new development reflects the history and future of our great neighborhood, one that is inclusive of all people.
Our progress on honoring the bank’s legacy, and ensuring the building’s ownership reflects the Black community includes:
- The four organizations will prioritize renting commercial space to black- and minority-owned businesses at affordable rates.
- The groups committed to hiring minority-owned subcontractors from within the community to work on the new construction.
- There are plans for numerous art features that will honor the community and history of Liberty Bank.
The new building, which will begin construction in 2017, will include ground-level retail spaces and five floors—about 115 units—dedicated entirely to affordable studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments. Learn more about this project and let us know what you think!