Minneapolis woman adds health and wellness ‘oasis’ to $1.1 million building acquisition

The black woman behind the Black Women’s Wealth Alliance (BWWA) shares her plans to turn a $1.1 million building she bought in North Minneapolis into an “oasis” for wellness services.

Kenya McKnight-Ahad founded BWWA in 2014. The Minneapolis-based group is dedicated to amplifying black women with the goal of creating generational wealth. Since its inception, the organization has “served more than 4,000 black women, provided more than $1,300,000 in small capacity grants, and facilitated $780,000 in loans,” as the BWWA website states.

Now, after acquiring a building currently called ZaRah, McKnight-Ahad is sharing her plans to convert the building into a center for wellness services like massage and acupuncture.

“I grew up around Black woman struggling to make ends meet,” McKnight-Ahad said. The rostrum of stars.

“Mostly working poor. Sometimes selling drugs. I experienced street life and homelessness. But I have always sought a better life.

McKnight-Ahad knows ZaRah’s property well: she occupied a space in the building before she was evicted for not being able to pay the rent. McKnight-Ahad acquired the building from Stu Ackerberga developer and owner of the Minneapolis-based nonprofit Catalyst Community Partners, who has applauded his journey from evicted tenant to building owner.

“She was back as a tenant when she called to buy the building, and it was the perfect full cycle,” Ackerberg said.

The determined entrepreneur purchased the building with financing from Sunrise Banks and a $500,000 interest-free loan from the Minneapolis Commercial Property Development Fund. Since acquiring the building, McKnight-Ahad has completed a number of renovations, including the addition of a cafe-bakery.

“Kenya has vision and courage,” Ackerberg said.

“She had never worked in real estate before,” she added. “But we worked together. And she had this concept of creating a black middle class on the north side. She is part of the changing times and reversal of West Broadway.

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