Members of the Riley Group L.L.C. break ground on their new townhome project at 4106 Martin Luther King Way South.
Although many people hope one day to own their own home, cultural barriers and shortages in affordable housing are two issues that can prevent this dream from becoming reality.
The Riley Group L.L.C., which hopes to remove the stumbling blocks that inhibit minorities, women and low-income families from home ownership, broke ground recently on its first townhome project at 4106 Martin Luther King Way South.
The company was founded on the belief that stability is the basis of a sound economic society and that homeownership encourages self-sufficiency – which, in turn, creates a healthier and more prosperous community.
The Riley Group was established in July 2004 as an outgrowth of the Breakfast Group. The Breakfast Group – a collection of 16 African American business and professional men – began an informal and social network of monthly breakfast meetings in 1983.
In the early 1990s, the group decided to get involved in making the Seattle urban community a more livable place. The Breakfast Group's economic development committee voted to initiate a for-profit business of private investors to create housing and commercial development in urban neighborhoods.
The Riley Group, along with the Seattle Housing Authority, will begin the development of single-family properties on the new site and will use the investment returns to gradually grow and develop the firm's capacity to build multiple projects simultaneously.
The Riley Group is named for George Putnam Riley, a California Gold Rush migrant originally from Boston, who formed a Workingmen's Joint Stock Association along with 14 other stockholders. Riley purchased 67 acres of land in Tacoma, which would later become the basis for "The Hilltop," the city's African American community.
The group's members include architects, bankers, entrepreneurs, attorneys, managers, educators and housing providers.