For years it was a vacant lot and a reminder of things lost in the historic Washington Heights neighborhood in West Charlotte, North Carolina. “It’s a painful thing when you have something disappear and not be replaced,” said Mattie Marshall the longtime president of the historic African American neighborhood. The Ritz theatre was one of four segregated movie theatres in the city back in the day and the center of the neighborhood, but it was torn down in the ’90s.
Now thanks to Lowe’s, the land where the theatre once stood is being transformed into a park that will be a destination hub for people in the community to gather and celebrate the strength of their enduring neighborhood.
Marshall was so excited about the project that she would regularly stop by to check on the site’s progress. “It’s like a beacon of hope. I would come by every day to see the transformation. I would watch them pouring cement, putting up the fence.”
Erin Chantry is Senior Urban Designer and Planner for the City of Charlotte and says,“This open space is here for the community. It will host events, movie nights, whatever the community is doing and we’re just really happy and very thankful to Lowe’s. The fact that they invested so much in this project and to know that they’re doing this in a hundred different places across the country, I think is just a wonderful way to celebrate Lowe’s birthday and really just shows the commitment that Lowe’s has to making loved places beautiful.”
Gary McCoy is the manager of the nearby Lowe’s store and was proud to lead Lowe’s volunteer efforts at the project site.
“We wanted to be able to give that sense of community and gathering back to the neighborhood,” McCoy said. “So the re-allocation of the space has been incredibly transformative, not only for the neighborhood, but for the community that it serves.”
Marshall says it’s meant a lot to see how much hands-on work is going into the project from the entire Lowe’s team. “I just want to say a mighty, mighty thanks to Lowe’s, to Lowe’s leadership management, the board of directors, all of you and all the associates and people associated with Lowe’s. Thank you. And I mean that from the bottom of my heart.”
Republished from Lowe’s Corporate News website.