Let The Church Say Amen To Equitable Housing and Entrepreneurship
Concord, NC – WeBuild Concord has purchased the historic Kerr Street Baptist Church, 114 Kerr Street, Concord, NC, to develop fifteen (15) affordable and workforce housing units and incubator space for entrepreneurs and artists. A local firm, Carlos Moore Architects, is leading the design. The Kerr Street initiative combines the nonprofit’s mission to connect affordable housing to economic development in a unique way by taking existing structures and repurposing them for public benefit. It is a model they plan to follow in other ventures.
Kerr Street and Economic Development
“The area surrounding Kerr Street has a developing arts community and will have a skate park, bike trails, and other economic and social amenities,” says Dr. Patrick Graham, CEO of WeBuild. “It is a win for the City of Concord, residents, and businesses when you combine housing with economic development nearby. Besides that, we need more multi-family projects in addition to single homes to address the housing shortage.”
The fifteen (15) dwellings will consist of studios to three bedrooms within three sections of the two buildings on the property. A fourth section will be dedicated to incubation space for entrepreneurs and artists to provide ancillary services for the developments in the area. Just as important, Graham wants residents to participate in the entrepreneurial growth within the facility and surrounding area. “Can you imagine some residents living, working, and getting skills in the same space,” he says. “It is what will make this space a special experiment.”
Joslyn Blackburn, a WeBuild’s Property Acquisition Committee member, helped secure the location and agreed with the importance of the project. “I was able to see WeBuild’s vision for this property,” she says. “It will continue what the City of Concord has started regarding revitalizing the area and creating a wonderful place to live and work with great recreation.” The Project is part of multiple developments.
Current Projects and Resource Development
Outside of the well-publicized Lincoln Townhome Project, WeBuild has six (6) single-family homes under construction due for completion in March through July. These single-family homes will provide another option for affordable ownership and rentals. “We are raising funds to complete over sixty (60) by the end of the next fiscal year and a total of ninety (90) shortly after that,” says Graham. “We will announce a Community Projects Funds grant with the assistance of Congresswoman Alma Adams and private investment from Atrium Health shortly. However, other partners will make these developments possible for residents.”