PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Meet Entrepreneur Tayyib Smith A third-generation Philadelphian, principle of Meta Global and co-founder of IHHE who visualizes a promising future along 52nd Street in West Philadelphia.
"Cities that are going through hyper-gentrification, space to collaborate, space for mentor-ships where people can participate in the 21st-century economy was lacking," said Smith.
Smith says what once stood as an urban cultural hub in West Philly, he and his team of investors plans to transform a vacant 52nd Street lot just north of the Market Street El station into a five-story, 27,000 square-feet entrepreneurship hub.
"There's a lot of moving parts to this, but essentially, I came out with the concept of an entrepreneurship hub," said Smith. "Focusing primarily on Black and brown businesses or social services organizations or civic organizations that are focused on the Black community at large but particularly focused on West Philadelphia."
This project, Smith hopes, will transform into a commercial, business, and co-working space designed to benefit the surrounding West Philadelphia community.
"Not even 15 blocks or a half-hour walk we're adjacent to the University of Pennsylvania," said Smith. "We're adjacent to the science center, Drexel University."
Women's Opportunities Resource Center, a nonprofit that will provide microloans for small businesses in the area has already been confirmed as one of the businesses that will operate within this space.
Smith anticipates the completion of this project by the end of 2021 but says this is just a beginning piece to a larger puzzle when addressing the economic focus surrounding marginalized groups.
"There needs to be a more diverse ecosystem of people in the 21st-century economy that are bringing those resources to the Black community."
Entrepreneur aims to bring reinvested capital back into the heart of West Philly's 52nd Street