Left to right: Camryn Smith (community advocate); DeDreana Freeman (Durham City Council); Mayor Steve Schewel; Terensia Russell (co-owner of Russell’s Pharmacy with her husband Darius, pictured behind her); Dr. Arlene Chavis (minister, No Greater Love Christian Church); State Representatives Marcia Morey and MaryAnn Black. All photos by Jenny Shields.
Saturday, March 30 was a beautiful day for a grand opening in Durham, NC. Hundreds of people gathered in East Durham, North Carolina to enjoy community festivities and a ribbon-cutting that marked the opening of the Angier Business & Children’s Center (ABC). Fueled by energy from the community and a new generation of home-grown entrepreneurs, the ABC Center brings a variety of new resources and services to the community.
The ABC Center is comprised of five historic buildings representing 45,000 square feet of office and retail space. Self-Help acquired and redeveloped the property, completing renovations in late 2018. The space is now leased to tenants that include a pharmacy, a child and family-focused nonprofit, a child care center, a fitness studio, a clothing shop and a church. These anchor tenants are all businesses owned or nonprofits run by people of color.
Mayor Steve Schewel reviews notes amidst a large and enthusiastic crowd at the ABC Center grand opening.
The project provides high quality, moderately priced space to nonprofits and small businesses in what had been a disinvested business district. Among the ABC Center’s groups and services are these:
- All My Children Child Care Center – Paulette Muhammad has been in the field of early childhood for over 35 years. All My Children will serve over 80 children, infants through preschool age, when fully enrolled. This the second location of this child care business.
- Durham Atletico – A soccer/futsal organization dedicated to broadening access to the game throughout Durham, with a focus on the urban core. Committed to tackling the scarcity of low-cost, structured programs and lack of playing fields in Durham for children and adults.
- East Durham Children's Initiative – EDCI’s mission is to create a pipeline of high-quality services from birth through high school for children and families living in a 120-block area of East Durham. More than 40 partner organizations and hundreds of community members work collaboratively with EDCI to help achieve that mission.
- No Greater Love Christian Church – “A Real church for Real people seeking a Real Word!” Dr. Arlene S. Chavis, Senior Pastor, presides over this East Durham-based congregation and its community outreach and other ministries.
- Russell’s Pharmacy – A new, independent pharmacy run by an experienced local pharmacist. Owned by husband-and-wife team Darius and Terensia Russell. Their mission is to provide complete pharmaceutical care to help improve their customers’ quality of life, to serve and inspire the community, and to create a welcoming and positive environment.
- ThriVve Global Urban Fashion – Formerly a pop-up shop, this is a place to shop, network, thrift, see fashion and “ThriVve.” Features new and vintage consignment and thrift clothing expertly curated by the proprietors.
- Top Notch Performance Fitness Studio – The Studio’s goal is to help clients reach Top Notch Performance — whether you're a professional athlete, student athlete or working out to stay in shape.
As a whole, the ABC Center is an $11 million project made possible by Historic Tax Credits, New Markets Tax Credits, and support from the City of Durham, Kenan Charitable Trust, Oak Foundation and AJ Fletcher Foundation. Duke University and the Triangle Community Foundation provided low-cost capital that was also critical to the project’s success.
Jeremiah Pittman, co-founder of ThrivVee, (above) and Self-Help’s Michael Palmer (below) were among the speakers at the event.
Left to right: Chris Dickey and Andre Pettigrew, both from Durham’s Office of Economic & Workforce Development; Dan Levine, Self-Help’s director of project management and business development.
Many attendees gathered for a group shot.