Come Labor Day 2021, Stonecrest, Georgia will be home to the New Black Wall Street Market, a venue where black-owned businesses, food, art and entertainment will serve people around the metropolitan area and state.
The development, which is a product of the Allen Entrepreneurial Institute, will house about 60 businesses inside the market including several dining options, a jazz club and an art gallery.
Lecester “Bill” Allen, the founder of the AEI, has a lot of real estate holdings in the city, and he is looking at the location, formerly a Target, as a starting point for further development.
“We feel like this is a destination development,” Matthew Hampton, project leader for the New Black Wall Street Market said. “From a market perspective, Stonecrest is a great place for this to happen, cause it’s 95% black.”
Hampton went on to discuss how the city is a prime location, especially with a large amount of land at its disposal.
“A lot of development has skipped over Stonecrest,” he explained. “Stonecrest is strategically located. You don’t have this much contiguous land 30 minutes from downtown, 20 minutes from the airport based on traffic. To have this much land that you can amass and put together is a rare find.”
He also pointed to 2008, the heart of the Great Recession, as a reason development did not reach Stonecrest. However, Hampton went on to say how that provides the opportunity for the market to “create the culture”.
Inside the building, the architectural style is reminiscent of the original Black Wall Street, and some of the halls are named after successful black entrepreneurs, including A.G. Gaston and Madam C.J. Walker.
“It’s gotta be right,” Hampton said about the style and detail. “We couldn’t open this thing and people feel like it’s a flea market. They gotta come here and be wowed, like ‘they really put the textures, the brick treatment.’ They gotta feel and see all that.”
Hampton stated that the process of selecting businesses will begin in mid-July, and the market will also provide opportunities for startups.
“Because our mission is to make people stronger, we’re also gonna have some training programs,” Hampton said of the opportunities. “So if you’re a startup and you’re not ready, we’re gonna have some training programs to help you get closer to being ready.”
The New Black Wall Street Market had two pop-up events over the summer, one over Memorial Day weekend and another the weekend of Independence Day. The events set up the grand opening at the end of summer in September.