Glass ceilings in the central district

Ever wonder why the spaces at the ‘Legacy at Pratt Park’ building on Jackson and 18th  have been empty since it was built? I did too, and it seemed like the perfect location to move my small business which serves a diverse population of youth from the central district and surrounding areas. Near washington middle school and Gatzert Elementary, the Green materials building presents itself as a friendly neighborhood arts center, seemed perfect to me. The friendly agents told me the owners were motivated to lease it, and that they loved my proposal, ‘a great fit’. However, to open a business in this building you need to have $200,000.00, and that’s $200,000.00 with nothing against you. Meaning if you have $200,000.00 sitting in the bank, but  you owe $30,000 on your morgage, you don’t qualifty.  And apparently that is the bare minimum norm for commercial spaces in the central district. While I was disappointed about not having access to this space, and frustrated about being lead on for a month after giving my financial statement before the agents told me there was a problem, I am much more disturb by the bigger implication of the infiltration of these commercial spaces that are inaccessible to neighborhood businesses. The realization of the true depth of barriers that gentrification creates, suddenly was clear to me as they suggested I could get someone else to sign the lease for me, and I saw they stood in one world where everyone they know has $200,000 sitting around, and I stood in another where we laugh at that possibility.  “Anyone can make it if they want it bad enough, they just have to pull themselves up by the bootstraps…” And have $200,000 to start with.  In the central district, really?

4 thoughts on “Glass ceilings in the central district

  1. These groups were mentioned under the 23rd & Jackson post – maybe they’ll have ideas and experiences that will prove to be of help to you: [email protected].
    Judkins Park Partnership

    Sounds like a great idea, hope this is a temporary and frustrating set-back not the end of the story.

    Good luck!

  2. This is why we must continue to require commercial space be built in developments of this type – 1) because we want pedestrian friendly zones and 2) to drive down the price of commercial space so that somebody other than chains can affort the lease.

  3. Why so High? I don’t know anything about running a small business- is the $200,000 to protect the property owners from your potential bankruptcy?

  4. I don’t know. But clearly, if they think it is that valuable, then we need more supply. Same with homes. They are places to live not investments. People shouldn’t need a half million dollars to get a home or a quarter million to even think about opening a shop (not including what ever is needed to start their business).

    We need to build more homes and more commercial space.