Actor Wendell Pierce announced plans for a private residential venture that will return jobs to Baltimore.
Pierce is best known for his role as detective Bunk Moreland in the Baltimore-based HBO drama ‘The Wire,’ and he will portray Justice Clarence Thomas in the HBO film ‘Confirmation.’ He said he plans to invest $20 million dollars into a Baltimore apartment complex with the hope of creating more jobs in the city, according to Fusion.
A 2015 CNN Money report stated that although Baltimore is located in one of the richest states in the country, over 63 percent of the city’s population is Black. White residents in the city make almost twice as much as Black residents.
The actor, 49, plans to elevate the disparities that have grown so prevalent within the Baltimore community. During a panel discussion at Columbia University in New York City, Pierce, along with former “Wire” cast mates Sonja Sohn, Felicia Pearson and Jamie Hector, announced this new jobs initiative that he “hopes will expand to the rest of the city.”
A portion of the apartments in the building will be offered to Baltimore artists at a discounted rate. Artists living in the building will also have the opportunity to feature their artwork in the building’s galleries. Moreover, Baltimore residents will make up a portion of the construction team hired for the apartment project.
The developers are “shooting for the end of 2017” to complete the project, he said.
Construction for Pierce’s apartment complex is slated to begin in July, the actor said. He declined to disclose which other investors he is working with or the development company, but did say that the project is a private venture.
Pierce hopes the venture will serve as a catalyst for more jobs in the mostly African-American populated city.
“We hope to take it into the row houses, too. This is a pilot program to make sure that the template is there,” he told Fusion.
Pierce has a history of giving back to communities. Post Hurricane Katrina, a documentary, “New Orleans Rising,” chronicles his efforts as president of a community development association to help resurrect one of the nation’s proudest postwar African-American communities in his hometown after it was left desolate by the storm.