Foundation officials say about 350 people have found jobs making on average around $12 an hour through Westside Works and hundreds more are getting training in construction, technology, healthcare and food and beverage.
But the neighborhoods, dominated by empty buildings and blighted properties, did not have a lot to show physically for the work being done, officials said. The construction of the building, which boosters said would be equally at home in Buckhead or Midtown, offers evidence that progress is being made.
“This is an inviting space for the entire community,” said Javier Garcia, property development manager for builder Quest Community Development Organization.
Other buildings are on the way. Westside Works will construct an administration building next to its new headquarters, and Quest plans to launch a capital campaign in 2017 to raise $12 million to build a new resource center on land one block away at the intersection of Lowery and Joseph E. Boone Boulevard.
Atlanta City Councilman Ivory Young, who represents the area, thanked Blank for his efforts to help revitalize the neighborhoods.
“The community has been waiting a long time for this to happen,” he said. “Mr. Blank, I’m eternally grateful.”