February 21, 2021 – Roxbury, MA– Black Market and Madison Park Development Corporation are excited to announce a unique partnership to purchase the building located at 2136 Washington Street with technical support from the City of Boston.
The acquisition of this property is part of a broader vision of self-sufficiency for Roxbury, where local ownership directly blocks speculation and displacement and ensures future development that will focus on investments in businesses, art, and culture in our community. Property ownership represents a key strategy that results in sustainable economic development and builds equity that directly addresses the wealth gap in our community.
Christopher and Kai Grant are long-time residents and local entrepreneurs who have been leading the charge of infusing cultural energy into their community in hopes that a new crop of Entrepreneurs will emerge from the City of Boston’s geographical center: Roxbury. The couple launched a business model, cooperative in nature, called Black Market in June 2017 with a mission to reignite the creative economy in Nubian Square. Since its launch, over 350 hundred aspiring micro-business Founders and over 40,000 Supporters have cycled through Black Market’s signature Marketplace and Public Art events in the Nubian Square commercial district. The couple’s main goal has been to provide a launchpad for Artisans, Artists, and Activists inside the City of Boston’s most struggling Main Streets defining Nubian Square as a destination.
The 1700 sq. Ft. space has been the District’s hub for sharing ideas, cultural events, art creation, and exchange of goods driving the local ecosystem. It is considered by many to be a meeting ground and safe space for interactions that inspire the community to conjure up the big ideas that could potentially transform the surrounding Nubian Square neighborhoods and help close the $247,500 wealth gap.
“We are both humbled and proud to partner with MPDC and set a precedential model in Nubian Square that mitigates the displacement of not only Black Market, but also for the extremely gifted Community of Black Artisans, Artists, and Activists its’ platform has served while fulfilling its’ mission to reignite Roxbury’s creative economy,” remarks Kai Grant, Owner + Chief Curator, BMN.
“As we celebrate the 55th anniversary of our founding, it is incredibly meaningful to be fulfilling our mission through a unique relationship with an organization like Black Market. Chris and Kai’s ability to be the change they want to see directly honors the legacy of our founders’ vision for a community-owned and built by its residents,” Leslie Reid MPDC CEO reflects.
This year, Madison Park Development Corporation (MPDC) marks 55 years since its founding. MPDC was born out of both an innovative vision for the future and necessity during an era in which the Roxbury community faced unprecedented challenges grounded in racial and economic injustices.
As one of the very first community development corporations in the nation, MPDC has accomplished a great deal- building and preserving over 1300 units of high-quality, affordable housing; restoring Hibernian Hall, now a local leader in bringing arts and culture, particularly work from artists of color to Greater Boston audience; creating and growing our now robust Community Action department, which brings a diverse range of programs and resources to hundreds of residents and community members each year; and most recently, the creation of the Dewitt Center in the heart of Madison Park Village, which has quickly become the site of high quality, multigenerational programs, and a vibrant community gathering space.