The Third Ward Real Estate Council set up shop on Emancipation Avenue to solicit community feedback and host an outdoor activation workshop. Using the 11,000 square-foot lot on Eagle and Emancipation, the Council shared renderings of its proposed development, a business incubator and food truck part slated for Fall. Architect, Gregory Benjamin walked community members through the property layout, explaining the impact of various design element options and making real-time adjustments. Council founder Jason Hyman described the exercise and vision to the group as tactical urbanism. “There’s no reason to hold property and not immediately add value,” he said. Adding, “Acquisition plus activation, that’s how you make incremental impact.”
The Council’s mission is to create equitable access to real estate through education, access to capital and responsible development. As work continues on the Eagle lot, the project will be documented and shared in the DT3M Community Real Estate Investment Facebook group. The Council sees it as an opportunity to lead by example and show interested people across the country how to make an immediate impact in their community.
Hosting the free workshop on the weekend was intentional. Community engagement often stalls when organizations don’t meet people where they are. When public hearings and other engagement activities are held during the week, too many people have competing priorities and are left out. Creating flexible options, including virtual, and being accessible shows a commitment to getting feedback from the individuals that will live, work and play near and around the development.
Having an individual who was driving by pull over while and join the discussion was a highlight of the morning. Not only did he share his family history, which is also tied to a business on Emancipation Avenue, he expressed gratitude for transparency and the commitment to the residents already in the area. For more information on ongoing developments, future workshops or to support the Council, join here.