This family is building their own Greenwood District brick by brick.
Located in Lott, TX, Dr. Tarcia and Derrick Hubert are transforming abandoned buildings into a block of Black-owned businesses.
@dr.thubert This all started as an idea and a dream! We had a goal to purchase these buildings and bring a town (Lott, TX) that was once full of life, but now dead, back to life. That dream is slowly starting to become a reality. There are a couple of businesses already open, a few set to open within the next couple of months, and more to come! We are excited to be apart of this process and thankful to God for blessing the dream! There will be Lott’s to like in Lott, TX and our goal is that you will want to come visit and see it all yourself!! I just want to say keep dreaming and pushing towards those dreams! Trust God and He will lead you and guide you to them! Be blessed! #familyproject #familyowned #familyownedbusiness #buytheblock #blackowned #commercialrealestate #dreambig #dreambigger #keepdreaming #trustgod ♬ original sound – dr.thubert
Before building their family-owned block from the ground up, the couple ventured into various endeavors including their own studio.
“I’m a former high school teacher and football coach,” Derrick shared with AfroTech. “It was some hardships that I faced as a teacher and coach that made me go along and choose the path of being a full-time entrepreneur. I started out with a media company.”
Inspired by Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Black Wall Street and Derrick’s passion for media, the Huberts created a YouTube channel where they highlighted Black-owned businesses, but their channel was stunted once the pandemic hit. However, the turn of events led to a successful pivot.
After learning that her uncle had purchased multiple buildings in Lott, Texas — where Tarcia is originally from — the two were eager to buy one. Following around a year’s time, the opportunity presented itself.
“We kept telling him we want to purchase one and finally the opportunity rolled around,” Tarcia told AfroTech. “The thing about these buildings are they’re owned by people who don’t want to sell them. In some cultures, people are taught to not sell — to hold onto their things. So, even though [the buildings] were abandoned, the people who owned them didn’t really want to sell them.”
She continued: “But my uncle had a relationship with one of the guys, and he convinced him to sell some of the buildings… He let us know, ‘Okay, this guy’s ready to sell the building. Are y’all ready to buy?’ And we were like, ‘Yeah, we’re ready.’ So we jumped on it.”
Collaborating with Tarcia’s uncle and cousin, the Huberts worked to brainstorm which businesses to bring in. Originally, Lott was known as a successful city, and the family wanted to restore what once was.
“[Lott] was known for its western wear,” Tarcia explained. “We’re in Texas, which is all for cowboy boots and cowboy hats. This town was known for a store called Western Fair, and people from all over the state would come there to buy Western wear. We actually found a picture of one of the buildings with a line like all the way down the strip, people waiting to go into the western wear store to buy their clothes. So this used to be a thriving town, but now it’s dead. And it’s our dream and our goal to revitalize it.”
As of this writing, the block is home to an event space and a salon. On the way is a wings restaurant, a coffee shop, and additional stores. Construction has delayed the process, but the Huberts are aiming to be fully running by this summer.
“Our goal is that people would want to come visit and patronize our businesses. They will want to come see what we’re doing. And then, also we want to get into developing the residential areas around there as well,” Tarcia said.
She continued: “We also want [Lott] to be an option for people to look at for retirement. Like, here’s a small place that I can go to to have a peaceful life and a safe environment but also to have some nice businesses that people would want to come to visit.”