A west Charlotte site that once housed the Plato Price School — one of the city’s first schools for Black students — will now be the site of a new 40-home development.

Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region, the Ally Charitable Foundation and the City of Charlotte announced plans on Wednesday to build The Meadows at Plato Price, slated for completion in late 2024.

Ally Charitable Foundation will invest $1 million in the project over four years, matching the city’s $1 million investment.

The $7.8 million project is scheduled to break ground this September.

In addition to revitalizing a historic Black neighborhood, the development will help address a critical shortage in affordable housing in the Charlotte metro area, the investor said in a joint statement.

Just 15% of homes available for sale in Mecklenburg County meet the definition of “affordable” for households earning less than $50,000 annually, according to data from Ally.

Alison Summerville, chair of the Ally Charitable Foundation, who also serves as board chair of Habitat Charlotte Region said, “Everyone deserves a path to financial stability, which can be achieved through homeownership.”

“Owning a home fosters health and job security and helps build generational wealth,” he said.

The project, located on Morris Field Drive between Wilkinson Boulevard and Graham Parkway, will be Habitat Charlotte’s largest project to date. The development will include walking paths and dedicated nature areas.

Laura Belcher, president & CEO of Habitat Charlotte, said the project is a step toward building permanent, affordable housing that can serve multiple generations.

“Our vision is to remove barriers to homeownership for families, especially families of color, who have been shut out of homeownership opportunities, and instead offer access to vibrant, affordable communities,” Belcher said.  

The new Plato Price community will be built by Habitat staff, volunteers and future homeowners. The project will honor the memory of those who lived, worked and went to school in the area, says Habitat. 

Charlotte’s Black history:

Photo: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library

Founded in 1915, The Plato Price School stood as the centerpiece to a once-thriving Black neighborhood in west Charlotte. 

The school served Black students in grades 1 through 12 until the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board closed it in 1966 as part of the system’s integration plan.

Plato Price boasted several notable alumni, including prominent cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Eddie L. Hoover, renowned folk artist Nellie Ashford and former Congressman Mel Watt. 

After its closing in the 1960s, the school remained vacant until the 1980s, when the city of Charlotte took ownership of the nine-acre property, later donating it to Habitat.

“This is about providing safe, affordable, and easily accessible homes for Charlotteans who need them,” Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles said in a statement. 

Sarafina covers Historic West End under a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. She earned a journalism degree from Howard University. Email news tips to sarafinawright@qcitymetro.com...

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