Although Black people accounted for a large portion of the New York population, according to the United Census Bureau, for far too long, they have been left out of the ins and outs of a place rooted in our culture.
It’s no secret that the Big Apple is known for its skyscrapers. Yet, not a single one that makes up the renowned New York City skyline has been constructed with a majority Black team — that is, until now.
EBONY reports that for the first time ever, real estate developers have plans in motion to build the city’s first skyscraper with a majority Black-led team.
“This is an opportunity to really create a paradigm shift and to start to build a Black economy that Black companies actually participate in and flourish,” said Craig Livingston, managing partner at Exact Capital. “On our side, as owners of a project, we can decide to spend a billion dollars with Black and Brown companies and for the economics to be shared and to be dissipated throughout specific communities.”
A Project That Is Long Overdue
His partner in crime and real estate entrepreneur Don Peebles admits that the project is something that is well overdue.
“Think about that,” said Peebles, according to the outlet. “All the skyscrapers in the skyline of New York City – all of them – not one has been built by a Black developer, not one has been constructed by a Black contractor, or a construction company, and only one had any element of design by a Black architect, and that’s fairly recent.”
The pair will work alongside Cheryl McKissack and architect Sir David Adjaye, who make up a portion of the team at the oldest Black construction and design company in the nation. It is a move that comes just on the heels of the effects of the ever-current global pandemic accompanied by the economic decline that is one of the several effects of it.
“Looking at the wealth disparity that has been created, thinking ahead to how New York comes back, and then addressing the protesting and the demand for racial economic and criminal justice in our country, we felt it important to build something that could meet those moments,” said Peebles.
The Affirmation Tower
With a team of 80-percent Black owned entities, the Affirmation Tower will become the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere once it is erected.
It will stand at 1,663 feet in height and span around 1.2 acres.
Much like the team that will be responsible for bringing the project to life, the inside of the skyscraper aims to make its mark in terms of representation. It will reportedly serve as the headquarters for the NAACP, a minimum of two hotels, office spaces, as well as an entertainment complex.
A set date for the completion of this project has yet to be released.