Black Historical past is NOW: John Queen

After I bought on this space in 2019, the highest-sold home within the space was $375,000,” Queen stated. “Now the home throughout the road from me simply offered for $617,000, and it’s all from traders coming in and seeking to make big revenue margins.” Photograph by Lentheus Chaney/The Atlanta Voice

Daily, Atlantans are making their very own variations of Black historical past in methods each huge and small. They’re all part of our Black Historical past Month sequence on common folks doing extraordinary issues all through metro Atlanta communities, “Black Historical past is NOW. 

Capitol View Manor, Atlanta’s ever-changing neighborhood, hums with the sounds of monetary progress. In keeping with Louisiana native and actual property fanatic John Queen, he hears desires being constructed in the neighborhood he now calls dwelling.

Queen has watched his neighborhood’s actual property costs soar, however his dedication runs deeper than potential earnings. Regardless of profitable provides tempting others to promote, Queen determined his dwelling was greater than a monetary funding – it was an funding within the material of the neighborhood.

He desires his neighbors and others who witness his efforts to revive his Nineteen Twenties dwelling to really feel impressed. They can also put money into a neighborhood with out sacrificing the soul of their neighborhood.

Photograph supplied by John Queen

“After I bought on this space in 2019, the highest-sold home within the space was $375,000,” Queen stated. “Now the home throughout the road from me simply offered for $617,000, and it’s all from traders coming in and seeking to make big revenue margins.”

In keeping with Zillow, Atlanta ranked ninth on its record of the most popular housing markets in 2023. The report additionally states that property costs in Atlanta might have reached their peak.

Queen’s enterprise training from Morehouse Faculty grew to become the cornerstone of his community-focused investments. His actual property ventures vary from inexpensive housing to Airbnb leases, all held collectively by household and friendship.

“I really like Atlanta, and I really feel like I’ve been in a position to create a village right here. It actually has impressed me and helped me construct and develop,” Queen stated.

Because the treasurer for Neighborhood Planning Unit X and former vice chairman of the Capitol View Manor Neighborhood Affiliation, Queen emphasizes the distinct distinction between gentrification and revitalization. For him, it’s not solely about new investments and an inflow of cash, but in addition about protect the historical past and id of the neighborhood whereas bettering everybody’s high quality of life.

Photograph by Lentheus Chaney/The Atlanta Voice

His viewpoint focuses on helping longtime residents fairly than forcing them out to accommodate new traders.

“I really feel like what we miss in Atlanta is revitalization. And which means maintaining folks of their properties. Lots of people in my neighborhood, the aged residents, have lived right here for 20-30 years,” Queen stated. “Why aren’t we serving to them repair up their properties as an alternative of forcing them to promote and herald an investor who modifications the neighborhood?”

Queen’s mark on his neighborhood runs deeper than the renovations on his historic dwelling. Point out his title to his neighbors and also you’re more likely to hear a story of a person whose affect extends from his renovation efforts and the intricacies of neighborhood planning to offering water to voters ready in lengthy traces on the library subsequent door.

“Nicely, he isn’t nearly the home,” stated Zachary Adriaenssens, chair of NPU-X and neighbor. “He actually has tried to attach with as many neighbors as attainable. He has a direct, hands-on impression on the lives of our legacy neighbors.”

What was as soon as farmland and a predominantly white Capitol View neighborhood was segregated from the predominantly Black Pittsburgh neighborhood within the early 1900s. Historic symbols of possession on the north and south ends of Metropolitan Avenue now symbolize equality. Males of colour, together with Queen, now personal two prestigious properties at every finish of Capitol View Manor.

“For the historical past of the neighborhood to return full circle, and for this true image of possession in the neighborhood to be two Black males, I really like that,” stated Adriaenssens.

Photograph by Lentheus Chaney/The Atlanta Voice

In each tangible and intangible methods, Queen has left and continues to go away his mark on Capitol View and Capitol View Manor. His sweat fairness, embedded within the partitions of his historic dwelling and the hearts of the neighborhood members, provides a layer to Atlanta’s Black historical past. Queen embodies up to date Black historical past – a person totally conscious of his neighborhood’s previous, actively taking part in its current, and passionately invested in its future.

“I don’t imagine that you could make personal investments in a neighborhood with out actively taking part,” Queen stated. “At any time when I’m going into any neighborhood, I’m a participant. I wish to know what’s taking place. I wish to know the way I may help, and I wish to know the way I can actually impression the neighborhood.”

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