Yale’s Community Investment Program Supports Black-Owned Businesses
In mid-June, Yale University Properties, the City of New Haven and the downtown community celebrated the opening of Philly’s A Taste of Philadelphia, a black-owned independent restaurant located at 1008 Chapel Street. The restaurant, owned and operated by Shem Adams, serves authentic Philadelphia-style cheesesteak sandwiches.
For Adams, who opened his first Philly location in Norwich, Connecticut, more than a decade ago, the new location on Chapel Street had taken years to build. “I’ve had my eye on New Haven for a while now,” Adams says. “New Haven is the soul of Connecticut, so we knew our next restaurant had to be here.”
His instincts were good. And with support from Yale University Properties, he says, the restaurant was able to get off the ground and achieve better-than-expected success.
“The love we have received from Yale University properties, city officials, news outlets and the community is unparalleled,” Adams said.
Black-owned businesses are a vital part of the New Haven community. Yale University Properties, which manages Yale’s commercial properties – including retail stores, office space and residential units in New Haven – has played a vital role in helping these brick-and-mortar businesses thrive through its investment portfolio. community.
Yale helps support local tenants in a variety of ways, such as hosting merchant association meetings, hosting events to attract visitors, overseeing advertising and promotional efforts, investing in improvements and venue creation, and, as the community has endured the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis, providing much-needed rent relief.
Earlier this year, Yale University Properties also celebrated the opening of More Amour Boutique, an independent women’s and Black-owned boutique at 1130 Chapel Street, offering fashion-forward and fashion-forward women’s clothing and accessories. that cater to a variety of styles and budgets.
“It’s always been my dream to open my own boutique in downtown New Haven because of its walking distance and stylish clientele,” says owner and operator Kim Poole. “Yale University Properties helped me locate and secure the exact commercial space I wanted, and it turns out to be the best business decision I have ever made. I love being located on Chapel Street – it makes me reminds me of my home in Baltimore.
Yale University Properties is proud to support Black-owned businesses, said Lauren Zucker, associate vice president for New Haven Business and University Properties at Yale. “Yale University’s Community Investment Program supports independent businesses, creating jobs for New Haven residents and expanding the city’s tax base,” Zucker said. “We are proud to continue to support a growing number of Black-owned businesses in New Haven and look forward to their continued success in New Haven.”
Yale’s partnership with local business owners has helped promote many inspiring success stories. Here are some recent examples:
- B Natural Kitchen, now located at 260 College Street, has been a tenant of Yale University properties since 2007. Owned and operated by Nebyat Shewaye, it has blossomed into a thriving farm-fresh produce and home-builder concept. your own bowl.
- Owned and operated by Ricky Evans, Ricky D’s Rib Shack started as a food truck operation in 2013. The business has been so successful that Evans decided to expand in order to accommodate a growing customer base. In 2016, Yale University Properties partnered Evans with The Perfect Space, a turnkey restaurant at 302 Winchester Avenue in Science Park, where it became one of New Haven’s most popular barbecue restaurants.
- Also in 2016, black restaurateur and Yale alumnus Karl Franz, who owns restaurants in Harlem, reopened the Anchor Spa, located at 272 College Street, and reinvented the iconic restaurant’s menu into one with cuisine from pan-Caribbean style and premium cocktails.
- In early 2018, New Haven resident and black business owner Neville Wisdom opened his second retail clothing store, Neville Wisdom Fashion Design Studio, at 1090 Chapel Street. Working with Yale University Properties, his dream of combining a storefront with one-story manufacturing in a downtown area came true when he moved to 27 Broadway, another Yale-owned property next to J. Crew and Lou Lou, in 2020. The space was just the right size to accommodate Neville’s 27 sewing machines, computerized pneumatic fabric cutting table, and specialty machines while still allowing room for space for retail in the front section of the store.
- Salon E’Selim, an independent women’s and black-owned salon that opened at 45 Whalley Avenue in 2018, offers a wide variety of services for men and women, including haircuts, extensions, colorings, bridal services, up-do’s, natural hair care, and more. The salon is owned by Ebony Selima Peterson-Dease.
Additionally, Yale University Properties recently signed leases with two new Black women-owned small businesses, MINIPNG and Soap-edi. MINIPNG, a creative fashion boutique, will open in September under the ownership of New Haven resident Eiress Hammond at 77 Audubon Street. And Soap-edi owner Francia Fortune, which produces and sells all-natural beauty products, plans to open fall 2022 at 1022 Chapel Street.
This month, in recognition of National Black Business Month, Yale University Properties reiterated its support for these businesses by partnering with local radio station WYBC to promote 18 owned retail, restaurant and service businesses. to blacks throughout New Havre. The two partners ran similar promotions for these businesses in the spring and during the holiday season.
“We are so grateful to all of our tenants who add to the vitality and vibrancy of downtown New Haven,” Zucker said. “As we strive to support a diverse tenant base, we encourage potential tenants to contact us for additional information.”
Through Yale’s Community Investment Program, Yale University Properties is committed to improving the quality of life in New Haven through the development of high-quality commercial and office environments and the revitalization of surrounding neighborhoods. Through University Properties’ Community Investment Program, Yale University is one of the largest taxpayers in the city of New Haven. Learn more at ONHSA.Yale.edu.