A group of Black entrepreneurs from an organization called Black Wall Street STL is planning to build a business district in North St. Louis, Missouri. They have already applied to the city’s Land Reutilization Authority (LRA) to purchase over 8 city blocks equivalent to 283 lots in the area for Black-owned businesses to thrive.
“We are all very interested and invested in our communities, and we know that ownership is a problem, or lack thereof,” Ebony Bowden, president of Black Wall Street STL, told St. Louis Public Radio. “We decided to come together and create Black Wall Street to go ahead and get the land so that we can have a foundation.”
Instead of waiting for the city officials to help solve the problems of Black people, this group of entrepreneurs who met four years ago have come forward to do it by themselves. They have pooled their money together to purchase the land which will serve as a space for Black businesses.
According to Alderman Brandon Bosley of D-3rd Ward, Black Wall Street STL offered the LRA a total of $150,000 to purchase the space. The properties consist mostly of foreclosures, dilapidated buildings and vacant lots which are conceptualized to be a thriving business district as it reportedly was years ago.
At first, the land could be used for community events, gatherings, and open-air markets, Bowden and Bosley said. Eventually, however, they are hoping that it will house businesses and factories that can bring economic opportunities to the community.
For more information about Black Wall Street STL, visit BlackWallStreet.org