Africatown continues to maintain a primary focus on holding ground, gaining ground and breaking ground. To that end, on Juneteenth 2017 we celebrated the Liberty Bank Building groundbreaking with an amazing community ceremony. The unique partnership between Capitol Hill Housing, Byrd Barr Place (Formerly Centerstone/CAMP) & Black Community Impact Alliance the project brings 115 affordable housing units and commercial space and other opportunities to mitigate the displacement of Black community and identity honoring the legacy of Liberty Bank established in 1968.
Community benefits on the Liberty Bank Building include:
- Commissioning 8 African American artists to tell the story of Liberty Bank and the community that used the bank.
- Nearly four million dollars in subcontracts to African American owned businesses,
- Commercial space to continue the legacy of Black entrepreneurship that flourished in the Central District.
- Prioritizing our community that has been displaced or at risk of displacement
Lastly we will need your help to make sure every corner of our community that is now spread out over King & Pierce county get the message about affordable housing opportunities.
The next big news is that Africatown Community Land Trust was able to successfully gain ground, securing 20% of the Midtown Center block to develop Africatown Plaza, partnering with Capitol Hill Housing to bring their development expertise to the project and build on the collaboration started across the street at the Liberty Bank Building. In addition to affordable rental housing, we are working hard to have affordable homeownership town home units on the site as well. We are working with Homestead Community Land Trust on this and other sites in the community to bring much needed affordable ownership to moderate and lower income working individuals and families who are being priced out of Seattle.
Africatown Community Land Trust is also working with the private developer Lake Union Partners who purchased the property and owns the northern parcel of to ensure that the entire block brings the legacy of the Black community into the future through ownership, contracting opportunities to build and commercial space for small locally owned businesses in the new development.
Building on the Imagine Africatown initiative to gather community aspirations, desires and visions for the future, we continue to engage our community through Africatown Design Ciphers to help design a building that reflects our culture and influence.