• The Big O

If you ever wanted to see Black businesses return to the CD, come out tonight to Black Dot.

Artist rendering of the Midtown Public Square development on 23rd & Union. (Lake Union Partners)

How many times have we done it over the past decade? Driven down 23rd Avenue through the Central District and reminisced about the numerous Black owned businesses that use to not only be prevalent but also thrived in our community. Whether is was Welch's Hardware or Ms. Helen's, all gone now and are just a footnote in our storied history in the CD.

Tonight there is an opportunity to actively and consciously act to continue on the historic strides that the Liberty Bank Building made in bringing Black business back to the Central District as Lake Union Partners is hosting an open house for retailers who might be interested in opening a storefront or restaurant at their new Midtown Public Square development on 23rd and Union which will be completed in about 24 months.

According to Lake Union Partners, Midtown Public Square is serious about maintaining the legacy culture of the community and want to have as many African American businesses in Midtown Public Square as possible and to their credit, Lake Union Partners, is one of the few developers I have ever seen to make an active effort to make Black business owners aware of retail opportunities so far in advance if at all. They are not only having an open house this evening at Black Dot Underground but also a follow up session in the coming weeks for those who might be interested to meet with brokers and specialist to assess the overall viability of the opportunity.

Why is your attendance at the open house tonight important?

First of all it is critical that the community keeps developers at their word. There is no reason to believe that Lake Union Partners is being less than genuine when they say they want Black businesses in the Midtown Public Square, however, we have learned time and time again that we cannot always take developers at their word and the best way to ensure that there is an outcome beneficial to the community is to be a part of the process and hold the developers accountable to deliver what they promise.

Secondly, wouldn't it just be awesome to see a return of more Black businesses to the Central District and continue to rebuke the narrative that we have all vanished or have no interest in living or shopping in the Central District anymore?

So if you or someone that you know is interested in moving a current retail business or opening a new retail business on 23rd and Union, please come out to Black Dot Underground tonight at 1437 South Jackson Street, Seattle, WA 98144 tonight at 6:00 PM. You can click here for a free ticket as space is limited.

#FightingForEveryInch #NoSurrender

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