Kim St Onge Posted Jul 8, 2020
ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) — A group calling themselves ‘Black Wall Street STL’ turned in their application to the city Wednesday to buy more than eight blocks of land in north St. Louis to revitalize.
Alderman Brandon Bosley is helping spearhead the effort.
“Our people need land. That’s the thing they told us we would get when we were released from slavery. We never got it. That’s the reason we don’t have economic opportunity. In the city of St. Louis there’s a lot of opportunity because there’s a lot of land,” said Bosley.
Bosley said the group behind the effort is made up of 100 Black people, an intentional move to make a statement that they’re taking it upon themselves to invest in their community. Each of the 100 people is pitching in to pay for the land.
They offered the Land Reutilization Authority, or LRA, $150,000 for the approximately eight blocks of land that surrounds Carter Avenue and Grove Street.
“We want to create a place where Black people can come and sell their merchandise as well as a place for them to gather for different events, concerts, things like that, said Ebony Bowden, president of Black Wall Street STL.
The group would then leave the land undeveloped for barbecues, community events, and an open market for now, but would like it to be developed in the future.
“It would look like Manhattan, New York where it’s buildings, we have everything we need right there in the neighborhood, grocery stores, everything,” said Dr. Rosetta Hamilton-Griffin, one of the 100 investors.
The LRA owns about 11,800 properties in St. Louis City, which includes buildings and lots, most of which were foreclosed or abandoned. The city receives about 70 to 80 offers per month to buy properties.
The LRA said it will decide whether to accept Black Wall Street STL’s offer at its meeting on July 29 or in August.