Welcome to the William Grose Center

When you transform an iconic fire station in Seattle’s Central District into an innovative space designed to help local black business owners and entrepreneurs grow and thrive, the possibilities are truly endless.

Welcome to the William Grose Center for Cultural Innovation and Enterprise (WGC), created by the Africatown Community Land Trust (ACLT) in partnership with KeyBank. This exciting new community space gives business owners and entrepreneurs in Seattle's historic black communities access to incredible resources for starting or scaling their businesses. From understanding the latest tech, tapping into digital marketing expertise, harnessing the power of social media and so much more, the WGC is here to help these businesses succeed.

Not only is the WGC helping established businesses and entrepreneurs, but it also creates opportunities for the younger generation to thrive. We spoke with President and CEO of Africatown Community Land Trust, K. Wyking Garrett, about the project. Garrett says he’s “excited about existing entrepreneurs getting greater... but also the pipeline of young people and being able to expose them to both the tech and the entrepreneurial business development opportunities related to their interests or talents... and direct their energy in certain ways that can be transformative for their own lives and for the lives of their families and our community overall.”

“We’re excited about the pipeline of young people and being able to expose them to both the tech and the entrepreneurial business development opportunities…”

Whether it's a small business looking to grow with digital marketing or online payments, young entrepreneurs designing their own clothing line seeking out resources to get started or a creator wanting to develop something for the metaverse, WGC provides the resources to help make it happen.

When KeyBank saw the amazing work ACLT was doing in the community, we wanted to get involved in a big way. KeyBank donated $300K to expand ACLT’s small business development program to help these entrepreneurs incubate and grow their companies. “The transformational impact of Africatown and Wyking’s leadership is not only benefiting our local community but is also recognized nationally,” said KeyBank SVP, DE&I Engagement Leader Cassandra Mitchell. “Our mission at Key is to help our communities thrive, and nowhere is that more important than in underserved and under-invested communities that often lack access to business expertise and funding. We are thrilled to support the efforts of the ACLT to help business owners and entrepreneurs achieve their goals and dreams.”

KeyBank is proud to be one of the first large financial supporters of this incredible organization and Garrett agrees, “I think it's great and the first step and opportunity to build something that can significantly impact [the community] and be a model for others to follow.” KeyBank couldn’t be more excited to continue this partnership, for the grand opening of the WGC and to share its future successes.