Black-owned small businesses fill newly opened Montague Plaza in southeast Raleigh

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Wednesday, October 18, 2023
Black-owned small businesses fill newly opened Montague Plaza
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Montague Plaza in southeast Raleigh has 14 spaces for businesses. All of them have been filled by Black owners.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- For many people, the Montague Plaza along Rock Quarry Road is more than just a building. Every tenant in this new shopping center is a black-owned small business.

Stephanie Smith is opening a consignment shop and extending her space to other vendors.

"I have like 1,200 square feet," she said.

She plans on selling everything from jewelry to cosmetics -- even fresh squeezed juices.

Smith said southeast Raleigh's Montague Plaza is giving her a real shot to live and work in the community where she grew up.

"It's a blessing to be a part of it, to be able to stay here," said Smith. "So many people are coming in from different parts of the world and it's just buying up everything."

Hundreds of people came out Wednesday afternoon for a ribbon cutting ceremony for the plaza. State and local leaders were present, offering their support on this unique project.

ABC11 was there in 2021 when black real estate developer James Montague broke ground on the 15,000 square foot space.

Montague grew up two blocks away and said the $4 million project is a way to meet Raleigh's growth in an equitable way.

"I wasn't looking for a national anchor chain. I was looking for people who are from the area, born and raised, that want to give back and sow back into the area -- not just take money out of the community," said Montague.

After spending many years in Corporate America, Tonya Binns is setting up a consulting firm.

She wants to teach her neighbors and the next generation the best ways to start their own business so they too can prosper as the area keeps booming.

"We want to be a part of that growth as well. We don't want to stay stagnant and stay stuck. We don't want to feel like we're stuck or want to feel like outsiders are coming in and taking over. We want to be a part of the growth and be a part of the great City of Raleigh," said Binns.

The plaza houses a total of 14 commercial spaces. All 14 have already been leased out.