by Beverly Aarons
Global pandemic, year one: Many businesses are shuttered or providing restricted service, but Seattle’s real estate market is still booming. We even have the most cranes in the sky — again. Despite the strained economy, Seattle housing prices continue an upward trend.
When thinking about Seattle’s construction boom, most people think of overpriced housing, gentrification, and the displacement of People of Color, especially Black and Indigenous. They most likely wouldn’t imagine a Black person as an emerging power player in that realm. But GardnerGlobal, Inc., a Black-run, privately held holding company that’s been around since 2009 is consistently challenging assumptions about who has the right and the power to take a slice of Seattle’s real estate pie. Its subsidiary, Onpoint — a real estate services company providing brokerage, HOA management, and development services — recently purchased Mount Calvary Christian Church and has a plan to develop over 200 units of multi-family, mixed-use housing. Forty percent of the units will be affordable, earmarked for renters earning 50–80% Area Median Income (AMI).
Continue reading GardnerGlobal Serves Up a Plan for Generational Black Wealth
by Elizabeth Turnbull
As the days grow increasingly colder and winter rains are set to wash away the leaf-covered sidewalks, stores and businesses are preparing for a unique year of holiday shopping amid the pandemic. While many corporations have turned to e-commerce, small businesses are left to fight for visibility.
In an effort to support local businesses through the pandemic and the holiday season, the City of Seattle and various partners launched the “Shop Your Block” retail map last month to make it easier to locate small businesses and shops owned by women, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+ individuals.
The map, which lets users search for retailers in their area or via address and neighborhood, is a part of a larger campaign, created through a partnership between the City, Comcast, small businesses, and business district organizations, to help small business owners, who have been particularly affected by the economic repercussions of the pandemic.
Continue reading City Map and Resources Provide Easy Ways to Holiday Shop at Local Businesses
by Beverly Aarons
The first time Eben Pobee “saved” someone’s life with technology was when he created a simple pivot table to organize and summarize one million points of data. An immigrant from Ghana and a certified financial analyst, Pobee was a Microsoft Excel whiz with a good head for details and systems thinking. The project required him to wrangle a scrambled monstrosity of data governed by millions of rules. It was essentially a data nightmare. But it was the kind of nightmare that Pobee was more than eager to plunge into, and that much was obvious during our telephone interview.
“When I went in there, the project had been there for two years and nobody had tackled that because it needs a lot of thinking to do it,” Pobee said. There was a light playfulness to his voice as he shared the story of his first big job building systems. “Well, coincidentally and sadly, the manager who was tasked with that had 60 days to work on it or he was going to be fired.”
Continue reading From Excel Spreadsheet Whiz to Software Startup: A Conversation With Eben Pobee
by Beverly Aarons
The quintessential Tech Bro is a powerful archetype in the American imagination. College-educated, middle-class, white, male, armed with a STEM degree, and frequently seen sporting khakis/jeans and a fitted t-shirt emblazoned with the logos of top American tech firms: Google, Facebook, Amazon, or some scrappy startup you’ve never heard of. Tech Bros are the “revenge of the nerds” come home to roost. But what if I told you that Tech Bro culture was experiencing a disruption — a sort of fissure? What if I told you that a new archetype is emerging? One that is sometimes Black, Brown, immigrant, and/or female.
Continue reading BIPOC Founders Disrupt Tech Bro Narrative