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$20 million investment boosts west Charlotte's historically Black communities

Charlotte's West End neighborhoods are getting $20 million to help with community reinvestment as groups battle gentrification of historic areas.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte's West End, one of the Queen City's most historic neighborhoods, is getting a major financial contribution in the form of a $20 million investment to finance improvements. 

The contribution comes from a joint venture between Fifth Third Bank and Enterprise Community Partners to transform the area. These neighborhoods are loaded with heart, soul and so much character. 

Decades ago, they held so much promise as one of Charlotte's premier Black neighborhoods

“Why do I love it so much? It’s home," Mary Howey said. "Most of the people here have been here all their lives, the majority of them."

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Howey has spent her whole life in the West End and wants to stay there. 

Friday was a celebration as promises from the past will now be the integrity of the future for families who call this neighborhood home. Fifth Third is committing $20 million in lending for mortgages, small businesses and neighborhood revitalization programs. 

“We see this as an opportunity to accelerate racial equity, opportunity, and inclusion because we know, through collaboration, great things can happen,” Jada Grandy-Mock, the chief community & economic development officer at Fifth Third Bank, said.

Some of that money will benefit For the Struggle, a charity in the West End that works to preserve the historic feel and culture and keeps people in their homes by helping them with home repairs and estate planning.

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“You know, this community has been so underserved and overlooked for so many years," Alesha Brown, executive director of For The Struggle, said. "This investment is so welcomed and will be so impactful."

Friday’s announcement is a step in the right direction, helping to create a major footprint of hope, success, and a brighter future for the people who raise families here.  

“This opportunity allows Fifth Third to invest in a unique way by taking a thoughtfully structured approach to solve existing real issues,” said Lee Fite, president of Fifth Third's Mid-Atlantic region.

WCNC Charlotte's prior reporting on Charlotte's West End prompted Target to form a corporate partnership with For The Struggle. WCNC Charlotte helped raise money for For The Struggle and donated $2,000 to help neighbors there. 

Contact Bill McGinty at bmcginty@wcnc.com and follow him on Facebook.