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Keystone Urban Real Estate

Teaming with community partners

As part of our work to secure places that are keystones of a positive future around Puget Sound, Forterra is helping groups in the community that are trying to acquire land for needs like affordable housing, local small businesses, arts and cultural centers, and urban agriculture.

To this end, we’re putting our real estate and negotiation expertise in the service of these partners, helping them realize their aspirations. In some circumstances we can act as the interim owner of a property, “land banking” while a partner works out financing and development plans.

Our growing group of community partners includes Africatown, which is working to secure land for affordable housing and neighborhood businesses in Seattle’s historically black Central District. Wyking Garrett, leader of Africatown, remarks that “Forterra is a great partner, lending its expertise and helping advance our self-determined vision for the neighborhood. We’ve formed a relationship built on mutual respect that’s a great example for others attempting this kind of collaboration.”

Estela Ortega, executive director of the housing and human services group El Centro de la Raza, is another Forterra partner. “This is an opportunity to address the crisis of affordable housing and bring stability to people’s lives,” she says. “At the end of the day, we are making our city livable for all who live, work and play in our city. And it will keep the city diverse.”

From the Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority, executive director Maiko Winkler-Chinn adds, “Forterra’s work is urgently needed in Seattle. Funding for community-based projects do not move at the quick timing of sales in my neighborhood. Properties are selling faster than we’ve ever experienced. Our community needs this work in order to have a chance against displacement.”

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