The Acer Team
Acer House is being brought to you by a diverse team of developers, designers, and land owners.
We knew the Acer site was special from the moment we walked into Adal’s barber shop. The vacant lot behind him had been the Cherry Hill Baptist Church, but it had been sold to a developer who razed it and had been planning to build luxury townhouses. We were interested in the site because of its potential for affordable housing, but when we heard Adal’s story about how he had arrived as an immigrant from Ethiopia and had dreamed about developing the whole site into something more, we knew we had to do better.
We arranged a meeting with all four property owners on the block and shared our vision for partnership that would showcase for the city a truly equitable form of Real Estate development. We met with the neighboring residents and neighbors to share our vision and understand their needs.
The project took flight when we were introduce to Donald King, a prominent Black architect and himself a neighbor of the site. He brought with him Grace and the Schemata team, and further introduced us to Kateesha who inspired us with her vision for a diverse and thriving development.
Today, we’re working together as team: developers, designers and land owners to bring what we believe will be a unique and visionary new development to the Central Area, and a model for others to follow in the future.
Arboreal is a Seattle-based Affordable Housing partnership, formed by Ben Maritz and Dave Sharkey. Dave is a long-time Central Area and Capitol Hill affordable housing developer who worked his way up from small single family projects to large mixed-use projects. Ben is a reformed Management Consultant and an affordable housing and homeless advocate.
Kateesha Atterberry / Urban Black
Urban Black is a mission-based, real estate development, investment, and culture & technology firm. It is led by Kateesha Atterberry, a community leader and real estate developer with deep roots in the Central Area. Kateesha is a proud graduate of Garfield High School.
Schemata Workshop is an architecture & urban design practice that empowers people and their communities. The Schemata team working on Acer is led by Grace Kim and Sarah Haase. Grace is a founding principal of Schemata and a recipient of the AIA Young Architect national award. Sarah is a the Acer House project manager.
Donald King / Mimar Studio
Donald King is a Seattle-based architect, planner, and educator with over 50 years of experience in planning, design, and project management in the built environment. He is hands-on in leading the Acer House design thinking, bringing his long legacy as a prominent Seattle architect and Central Area neighbor.
2210 E Cherry St
A skilled barber and even more skilled carpenter, Adal moved from his native Ethiopia to the US in the early 1990’s by way of Canada. Together with his partner Daniel, Adal acquired both the property at 2210 and the building next door where they built a thriving local small business.
7o1 23rd Ave
Adal’s partner in the barber shop and owning the large building at 701 23rd Ave, Daniel is also a member of the Central Area’s proud Ethiopian community. Daniel is a natural entrepreneur and has made many investments both in the US and Ethiopia.
707 23rd Ave
A software engineer and 2nd generation Real Estate investor, Lawrence has deep ties to the Central Area community. He owns several rental properties in the area,
711 23rd Ave
A more recent transplant to the Central Area, Drew is a finance professional and a real estate investor. Drew lived in the house at 711 23rd for several years before moving a few miles south to start a new home with his wife.
The large vacant parcel on the corner of 22nd and Cherry used to be home to the Cherry Hill Baptist Church, a predominantly African American congregation which no longer exists. That parcel was sold to a different, unrelated developer who demolished the structure and planned to build luxury townhomes on the site. In late 2020, Arboreal acquired that site from the other developer and will be contributing it to the Acer project. It is our hope that the Acer House project is a fitting legacy to the former members of the Cherry Hill Baptist Church.
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