Donald Washington is looking to enhance the lives of underserved communities, starting with Atlanta, Georgia’s South Fulton neighborhood.
The Georgia Tech graduate leads Bolster Real Estate Partners and is teaming up with Lecrae to create a $35 million mixed-use community through The Kourtney project, named after his cousin who battled with Lupus.
The 122-unit development will address a need in the area to provide those over the age of 55 with a high standard of living accompanied by affordability.
“What was historically happening in the past, is that developers will come there and benefit from the lower cost of land, but build a more subpar product. The products would lease up and do well just because there wasn’t any material competition now because they were presenting a superior product. So, we felt like we had a real opportunity to come in and be a part of the growth story for the community and also bring a high-quality product,” Washington told AfroTech in an exclusive interview.
Partnered With The Community Before Pushing Forward With Development
What’s more, Washington was compelled to push forward with the project after first speaking with leaders in the community to have a clear vision of what needs should be addressed.
It was through these conversations that Washington understood how he could materialize a development project that would leave the senior citizens of South Fulton better positioned, ultimately leading him to shift away from his original idea of building a multi-family property.
“We went into the project wanting to be a partner of the community,” Washington explained.
He continued: “After talking with the city officials, they communicated direct support for that plan, but they also shared that there was an immediate and more severe need for an age-targeted community. They really needed something where their seniors in the area could retire and have a place to live that was economical for them long term. So, they shared their preliminary data with me and that prompted me to solicit my own third-party research, and all the data just kind of overwhelmingly supported that type of product in the world as well.”
Lecrae On Why He Wanted To Partner With The Kourtney
The Kourtney is expected to break grounds this fall and the completion of the project was aided by the involvement of Lecrae, who serves as a strategic partner and investor.
The Hip-Hop artist boasts 20 years of entrepreneurship under his belt and understands people should be at the core of a business.
By working alongside Washington, he now has a new pathway to impact more lives.
“I began to learn vicariously through Donald and learned how to impact the city and influence the city infrastructurally through development and that’s been just one of the other unique ways to really have a footprint in the city of Atlanta,” Lecrae told AfroTech.
Washington On The Importance Of Minority Participation
Partnering with Lecrae checks off a goal of Washington’s — to ensure there is minority participation as it relates to the real estate and investment sector.
As Washington continues to scale by creating more properties in Black communities across the United States, he wants to be intentional about bringing minority leaders into the fold that share his vision.