In 2019, the seed for Urban Homeworks’ (UHW) new office was planted. Juxtaposition Arts (JXTA) reached out to inquire about purchasing both of our offices on Emerson and the lot between. In that inquiry was an incredible opportunity to support a partner organization and restructure our own space to better serve our changing staff structure.
At the beginning of 2021, UHW sold our former offices to JXTA and made finding a new home a priority. Seventy-five percent of all UHW residents live within one mile of W Broadway Avenue, so finding a space accessible for current residents and future applicants in the heart of North Minneapolis was a top priority.
At a community event in April of 2021, AsaleSol Young, UHW’s Executive Director, bumped into Calvin Littlejohn, co-owner and CEO of Tri-Construction. Calvin shared his vision for the building at 927 W Broadway—a community hub of Black-owned businesses and Black-led organizations. Sharing UHW’s commitment to rebuild, invest in, and uplift the community in North, Tri-Construction and the Phillips Family Foundation purchased 927 W Broadway from the City of Minneapolis in 2018. Built in 1901, 927 W Broadway had sat vacant and neglected for decades before it was sold. With construction breaking ground in late 2020, nearly $7 million was invested into renovating and building an addition.
In that meeting, it became clear that UHW had found a values-aligned partner. We signed our lease in October 2021 and construction began on Suite 301 in May 2022.
Officially moving into our new home in October 2022, our office is designed to be a space for collaboration. The layout fosters multiple ways of working and thinking, including hybrid workspaces and plenty of room for gathering.
The renovation and construction at 927 W Broadway are just the start of more than $100 million in projects that will break ground or open along the Avenue in 2023. These investments are largely the result of various racial equity pledges made by organizations, corporations, and foundations in 2020 following the murder of George Perry Floyd Jr.
Though the path was difficult, remaining true to our values made it worth every setback. We’re proud to have planted ourselves in the heart of North Minneapolis as an ever-present commitment to the powerful community we serve.