For Booker T. Washington, the CEO and founder of Techie Homes Inc. and South Park Cottages, community is multidimensional. Much like his namesake, Washington has a profound passion for improving the lives of Black people. In fact, it was the driving force for him to launch South Park Cottages, which has been deemed the “first Black-developed micro-community in the United States.”
“I'm the founder and CEO of Techie Homes and South Park Cottages, as well as a real estate developer,” Washington says. “What I do with my organization, Techie Homes, is develop micro home communities in urban areas. We launched our first micro-community, South Park Cottages, in College Park, Georgia, which is in the greater Atlanta area. It is the first Black-developed micro home community in the United States.”
Washington’s intention behind creating such a community is deeper than representation. The CEO feels that building the micro-home community will have a positive financial impact on its residents as well.
“In urban communities, we have seen African-Americans continue to be displaced and outpaced when it comes to homeownership. Our company is able to find a home of equitable value for people to purchase while still staying in the communities where they may pay rent. That will allow people to have homeownership, instead of renting apartments. And, they’ll be able to do so in a much more affordable way. That is the aim of South Park Cottages.”
While Washington has made waves in real estate, his earlier professional years consisted of working in human resources. When he transitioned into his current industry, he had a sort of epiphany, which birthed his idea for his latest real estate endeavors.
“I had a crisis of conscience where I knew I was contributing to the rise of home prices in neighborhoods that I used to live in,” Washington explains. “I told myself, If I’m raising values, and more and more people are being pushed out, and other people are moving in and gentrifying these neighborhoods, why can't I develop something that keeps people in these neighborhoods at an affordable cost? That's where the birth of my micro-home designs came from.”
The legacy Washington wants to leave behind is that of choice and accessibility for the Black community.
"We look at things as if we have a choice, and often we don't. The legacy I want to leave with Techie Homes and South Park Cottages is that we allowed a choice to happen, and you were able to see it in full color. Rather than being blinded by the spending and the development of others that are making choices for you."