Can cities design policies to help shrink the racial wealth gap?
Fast Company
May 17, 2019
Black families currently have a median wealth of $3,600 compared to white households’ $147,000. It could take black Americans as many as 228 years to reach the level of wealth white households currently control. And that’s an optimistic forecast: A report from the Institute for Policy Studies this year found that black wealth in the U.S. is declining, so many families of color might not stand a chance at reaching levels of prosperity currently enjoyed by white households.   Read More >

Central District, other Seattle communities are at risk – and we all need to help save them
The Seattle Times
May 1, 2019
In a new documentary about gentrification in the Central District, “On The Brink,” an advocate of Seattle’s historically African American neighborhood talks about recent construction projects in the area digging the soul out of that community.  Read More >

The Central fights city hall
Madison Park Times
April 26, 2019
The Central Area Senior Center continues pushing for the city to let it take ownership of the property the nonprofit has been operating in for more than 50 years. Now, it has Kshama Sawant’s support, the Seattle city council-member amplifying the message in city hall.  Read More >Liberty Bank Building Ribbon Cutting Celebration
Capitol Hill Seattle Blog
March 4, 2019
Africatown Community Land Trust, the Black Community Impact Alliance, Byrd Barr Place, and Capitol Hill Housing invite the community to celebrate with us as we open the historic Liberty Bank Building on Saturday, March 23, 2019. This glorious new building built on the site of the first African American-owned bank in the Pacific Northwest, provides 115 new affordable homes, and affordable retail space for three local minority-owned businesses. Read More >

Lost in progress at Midtown Center: a 23 and Union small business and a Central District post office
Capitol Hill Seattle Blog
January 6, 2019
As much as some neighbors may be looking forward to the demolition of the old Midtown Center shopping strip at 23rd and Union, the end isn’t much to celebrate. You can feel the missing systematic safety net for Seattle’s small businesses as one small shop owner struggles to sort out what comes next.  Read More >

‘Community interest’ – Newly formed Central Area Board will have say on Midtown: Public Square
Capitol Hill Seattle Blog
December 17, 2018
A key Central District project to create a set of seven-story mixed buildings at 23rd and Union is ready to finish off 2018 Wednesday night with what many hope is the final step in a multi-year design review process spanning two different developers.  Read More >

“Coming Soon” art project takes on gentrification in the Central District
The Daily
August 16, 2018
In the early 1970s more than 70 percent of residents in Seattle’s Central District (CD) were African American. Today, that figure is less than 20 percent. After decades of redlining, a form of racial discrimination when providing neighborhoods with financial or other services, followed by a sweeping tech influx and gentrification, this community is quickly disappearing from the CD.  Read More >

Plaza Heralds New Era of Afrocentric Development in Seattle Neighborhood
Next City
August 7, 2018
Destiny Harris was one of over 200 volunteers who turned out on Sunday, July 8, to paint the walls and parking lot of the Midtown Center strip mall, a large parcel being redeveloped in Seattle’s historically-black Central District. “I see my neighborhood getting torn down every day so I decided to help my community around me,” said Harris, who attended elementary through high school in the Central District.  Read More >

In Seattle’s Central District, residents, artists imagine a ‘parallel universe’
The Seattle Times
July 23, 2018
In the rapidly gentrifying Central District, the once and future heart of Seattle’s black community, it seems almost every other street corner is home to a developer’s sign advertising a bland new town-house development or apartment building. A group of designers has imagined a different future there. Read More >

Africatown gets $1m+ boost from Seattle’s first Equitable Development grant
Capitol Hill Seattle Blog
July 6, 2018
Africatown has been awarded a major grant as part of more than $5M in funding for equitable development in Seattle. “Seattle is facing an affordability crisis, which has displaced far too many and left behind many of our neighborhoods and businesses,” Mayor Jenny Durkan said about the grants. Read More >

An ambitious effort to combat gentrification in Seattle offers lessons for Portland
Oregon Business
May 18, 2018
SEATTLE—Inside Earl’s Cuts and Styles, Earl, dressed in a red Nike sweatsuit, banters with his customers. An autographed basketball hoop and a framed Gary Payton jersey hang on one wall. A group of black men, young and old, hang out waiting for a cut. Read More >

Who will have a place in Seattle? Community leader challenges tech to grow inclusively
Geek Wire
April 26, 2018
“Seattle’s losing a part of its soul.” That’s how Wyking Garrett sees it. He is a third-generation resident of the city’s historically black Central District and he discussed how his community has been left behind by Seattle’s growth at Forterra’s annual breakfast Thursday. Read More >

Tech investors back novel fund to protect urban land and fight gentrification in Seattle
Geek Wire
February 16, 2018
A third-generation resident of Seattle’s Central District, K. Wyking Garrett has fond memories of the MidTown Center property on 23rd and Union. He remembers getting french fries at the now-closed Thompson’s Point of View restaurant, where his sister worked in high school, and waiting in line at the nearby post office with his father. Read More >

23rd and Union Development Update: Notes on Africatown Plaza, Liberty Bank, and East Union’s New Seasons Grocery
Capitol Hill Seattle Blog
November 5, 2017
As developers snag every available piece of land in the booming real estate market of Central Seattle, African American community members demand a seat at the table when it comes to who fills the future Africatown portion of Midtown development at 23rd and Union. Read More >

Africatown Partners with Capitol Hill Housing for Midtown Center Development
Curbed Seattle
October 11, 2017
Capitol Hill Housing is teaming up with Africatown to develop Africatown Plaza, a slice of the Midtown Block at 23rd Avenue and East Union Street. Read More >

Why Land Trust Are Key In Keeping Seattle Affordable
Seattle Weekly
May 31, 2017
Walk past 23rd and Union in the Central District and you’ll see one of the last outposts of black-owned Seattle. Surrounded by new hipster bars and cafes and two weed shops, the MidTown block houses a black-owned barbershop and liquor store and until recently was home to the Umoja Peace Center, an incubator for social-justice activism, and BlackDot, which fosters African American business and art. Read More >

Developer, Nonprofits Reach Deal on Seattle’s MidTown Center Property

KNKX
May 24, 2017
A deal has been reached between the owners, a developer and two nonprofits on a valuable piece of property in Seattle’s Central District. Lake Union Partners has agreed to buy the old Midtown Center property on 23rd Avenue and East Union Street for $23.25 million. Read more >

Connelly: Does 23rd & Union Deal Signal Seattle as a Place ‘Everyone Can Live?’

Seattle PI
May 24, 2017
A land deal at 23rd & Union, longtime the heartland of Seattle’s African-American community, offers a ray of light in gloomy picture of housing for low-income residents in a city growing more and more expensive.  Read more >

Finally, a $23.25M deal — and plans for inclusive development — at 23rd and Union

Capitol Hill Seattle Blog
May 24, 2017
It is a riskier bet than most $23.25 million land deals in Seattle. But new neighbors and longtime community members are probably happy to see real progress. Africatown, again in partnership with sustainability nonprofit turned in-city housing developer Forterra, will still be part of inclusive development component in the deal. And the buyers seem to know what they are doing. Read more >

MidTown Center Deal Emerges With 20% Africatown Stake

The Urbanist
May 24, 2017
The fate of much disputed MidTown Center may finally be decided. Lake Union Partners closed the deal yesterday on the coveted property with a $23.25 million bid. Moreover, the developer agreed to sell 20% of the parcel to the conservation non-profit Forterra who has partnered with Africatown with the shared goal of creating affordable spaces for homes and small businesses to ensure African Americans can continue to call this historically red-lined–and now red-hot–neighborhood home. Read more >

Unique affordable-apartment project aims to help residents stay in Central District

Seattle Times
May 23, 2017
Hoping to slow the displacement of residents from Seattle’s historically black Central District, local community groups are trying a new approach: teaming with developers to co-own a new apartment project affordable to low-income renters. Read more >

Development deal aims to save Seattle’s black community

Crosscut
May 23, 2017
The 2.5-acre plot on the southeast corner of 23rd Avenue and East Union Street in Seattle’s Central District — once a cornerstone of historic black Seattle and now a symbol of displacement and gentrification – has been purchased for just over $23 million. Read more >

Community Groups, Local Developers Band Together to Rebuild Heart of the Central District

The Stranger
May 23, 2017
After months of eviction protests, the future of MidTown Center is finally becoming clearer. Today, Seattle-based developer Lake Union Partners closed on a $23.3 million deal to purchase the historic 23rd Avenue South and Union Street block in partnership with Africatown and Forterra, a land conservation non-profit. Read more >

Africatown back on MidTown Center redevelopment team

Capitol Hill Times
May 23, 2017
It’s déjà vu at MidTown Center in the Central District, where once again Africatown Community Land Trust is situated to develop a portion of the 106,000-square-foot superblock. Read more >

Breakthrough at 23rd and Union will help sustain the historic Central District

Forterra
May 23, 2017
Innovative land deal for “most controversial block in Seattle” makes a mark for inclusion and affordability in Seattle’s rapidly-changing Central District. Forterra teams with Africatown, Lake Union Partners, and Yesler Community Collaborative to make it possible. Read more >

Developer buys Midtown Center, partners with African-American community on 550-apartment project

Puget Sound Business Journal
May 23, 2017
Nonprofits and developer Lake Union Partners are partnering on the redevelopment of one of Seattle’s last hubs of black-owned businesses.  Watch video >

Africatown, Forterra Part of Partnership to Redevelop Midtown Center

C is for Crank
May 23, 2017
Midtown Center—the property at 23rd and Union that has been the subject of an on-again, off-again debate about how to provide new housing in the Central District without economically displacing its remaining African American residents—has been sold to Lake Union Partners for $23.25 million. Read more >

Lennar and Regency have plans for housing, grocery at 23rd & Union

Daily Journal of Commerce
January 4, 2017
Tonight Lennar Multifamily Communities and Regency Centers will show their plans for the full block at 23rd and Union where a low-rise retail complex called MidTown Center now is located. Read more >

Community Pushes For Equity In 23rd & Union Development

The Urbanist
December 27, 2016
Everyone who cares about affordable housing and equitable, community-driven development should be paying attention to 23rd and Union in the Central District. The developments around that intersection showcase a variety of approaches to affordability, community involvement and equitable development. Read more >

Neighbors get first look at Midtown Center plans: big grocery, pharmacy, 120 affordable units

Capitol Hill Seattle Blog
December 26, 2016
While the details of an agreement between developer Lennar Multifamily Communities, Regency Centers and Africatown Community Land Trust for the Midtown Center project are still being finalized, neighbors got their first looks at early designs for the development as it moves toward its first design review just a few days into 2017. Read more >

Shopping center developer in deal to buy 23/Union block with Africatown as partner — UPDATE

Capitol Hill Seattle Blog
December 21, 2016
Echoing a framework for “inclusive development” forged across the street where Capitol Hill Housing’s affordable Liberty Bank Building is slated to rise, the developers behind a project planned to bring a seven-story, 400-plus-unit project to 23rd and Union’s Midtown Center say they are working on a deal with Central District community nonprofit Africatown that will give the organization an ownership stake in the project. Read more >

Africatown Organizers See Opportunity With Liberty Bank Site

The Urbanist
October 19, 2016
Central District residents filed into Washington Hall auditorium on Monday to hear about four mixed-use projects and focus on maximizing the community’s benefit from each. The event was named Imagine Africatown Update after the grassroots Africatown campaign that has emerged around Black empowerment in Seattle. Read more >

Soul of CD: Africatown

KCTS9
September 8, 2015
A look into the Central District community of Africatown and its recent developments. Watch video >

Hacking Gentrification

Ignite Seattle
April 2, 2015
What does it mean to hack a neighborhood? To maintain culture and community as your city and environment changes around you? K. Wyking Garrett spoke at Ignite Seattle 26 on Hacking Gentrification in the Central District. Watch video >

Central District business owners fight to save enclave of black-owned businesses

KIRO 7
February 27, 2015
Donald King of the Union Street Business Owners Association says that black-owned businesses are disappearing from the Central District.  “Not only does that erase, actually, businesses and residents but it begins to erase the actual history and heritage,” said King. Watch video >

The State of Africatown

City of Seattle
January 27, 2015
Africatown Center for Education & Innovation presents a vision for Africatown at the African American African Diaspora Gathering with Mayor Ed Murray at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute. Watch video >

Could Seattle’s ‘Africatown’ be the next Motown?

Techstars
December 7, 2014
As a millennial that grew up in Detroit, its hard for me to imagine a time before Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, or Michael Jackson. Berry Gordy’s frustration with pop culture pushed him to create one of the most successful African­-American owned and operated businesses in the U.S. Read more >

It’s time to create a new Motown for young urban technologists

GeekWire
September 20, 2014
I was born 30 years too late to experience Motown in its heyday. Nonetheless, as a young boy growing up in Detroit, I benefited from a city known as the mecca of music where homegrown talent discovered in the least likely of neighborhoods became icons of American pop culture. Read more >

Changes in the Central District Affect the African-American Community

Seattle Magazine
March 2014
When Mount Calvary Christian Center pastor Reggie Witherspoon was growing up in the Central District in the 1960s and ’70s, the neighborhood was tight-knit and largely African-American. But today, it’s another story. “It’s radically different,” he says. Read more