Liberty Bank building | KNKX

Liberty Bank building

Simone Alicea / KNKX

The site of Washington state's first black-owned bank is on its way to becoming what developers hope will be a hub for the neighborhood's modern black community.

The Liberty Bank project on 24th Avenue and East Union Street broke ground Monday. The groundbreaking ceremony coincided with Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.

Like many new developments in the Central District and around the city, the project is set to become high-rise housing with businesses on the ground floor.

Renderings courtesy of Mithun

Six King County African-American groups are vowing to collaborate to break the cycle of poverty in their communities. The groups cite a growing wealth gap between blacks and their white neighbors.

A study commissioned by the organizations explores factors behind this disparity. The groups gathered stories from more than 500 African-Americans who live and work in the Seattle area.