CONCORD, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – In the Logan neighborhood of Concord, a lot has — and has not — changed over time.
“When I grew up, we had everything in this community that you could’ve ever wanted,” said AJ Clark, a resident, and president of the Logan Community Association.
Clark is a former Charlotte firefighter who grew up in the neighborhood and later moved back. He noted that the historically African-American community had a grocery store and a vibrant sense of pride and identity.
The sense of pride remains, but everything else ‘has changed, and change is going to happen whether you want it or not.’
The idea of a significant change is something some neighborhoods would usually be resistant to, but not here.
WeBuild Concord and the City of Concord have joined in as part of an effort to help revitalize the Logan neighborhood and other areas in the city, and residents appear to be signing on to the action.
“We want to see people have wealth and develop stability for this community,” said Patrick Graham of WeBuild Concord, which has put efforts into revitalizing neighborhoods in the city that need it.
One of the first steps is a 26-unit townhome community called the Lincoln Street Townhomes, which will look unlike anything else currently in the community. The 1,300 square foot units are targeted towards those now renting nearby, with a gear towards affordable housing, and allowing long-time residents, or those who wish to stay in the community, a chance at home ownership.
Town officials noted that only around a third of the neighborhood’s residents own their homes, with the rest renting. Nearby are a series of duplexes that are operated by the local housing authority.
The groundbreaking for the townhomes took place Wednesday on a plot of land that has, up until now, been a field on Lincoln Street Southwest.
Affordable housing is becoming more of an issue nationwide, particularly in Charlotte.
A push has been seen in Charlotte, but Graham noted Concord’s efforts are different and likely will be more effective.
“We’ve been modeling after other agencies across the nation, but what we’ve done that’s unique here is combine an affordable housing agency with a land trust at the time, so we’re not just doing either/or,” said Graham.
WeBuild Concord is encouraging those who already live in the neighborhood to apply, understanding that this could result in further development — businesses, significant neighborhood renovations, and a new beginning for a neighborhood with history.
“We’re missing a grocery store; we’re missing fair housing,” said nearby resident Robert Neal, Sr.
“This is the beginning of something new,” said Clark. “Hopefully, even though it’s coming, it doesn’t price everyone out of the community.”
Anyone who may be interested and qualified can apply online.