AKRON, Ohio — The LeBron James Family Foundation has worked for decades to expand its footprint in Northeast Ohio, and that mission is about to grow in a big way.
The organization on Tuesday announced it has purchased Akron's iconic Tangier Restaurant & Cabaret on West Market Street. Renovations are now under way to turn the facility into a multi-purpose space for families at the I PROMISE School as well as the entire community.
"House Three Thirty" will feature a rooftop athletic complex sponsored by DICK'S Sporting Goods, a full-service Old El Paso restaurant, a gathering space named for J.M. Smucker, and even a Chase bank. The location will also host a retail space, coffee bar, ice cream parlor, and a cabaret.
"This is what all the blood, sweat, and tears have led to. We've been hard at work to change the lives of kids & families in Akron. It takes time. It takes the right team... but this is what redefining community looks like," Lebron James, himself, wrote on Twitter Tuesday morning.
PHOTOS: Proposed plans for House Three Thirty
NBA legend and Akron native LeBron James released the following statement on the acquisition and plans:
"Our main goal in everything we do is to support and prepare our families for a better future. And this concept, House Three Thirty, is the next step of that journey. I’m excited to open a space that puts everything we want to offer them under one roof. From getting them hands-on job training and financial guidance to having a space for important community events and safe physical activities, this is what we’ve learned our community needs. I can’t wait to see this come to life."
The Tangier has been unable to host concerts during the COVID-19 pandemic, and sources tell 3News the George family was "happy" to sell the venue during these difficult times. The partnership between the Tangier and LJFF truly began over the summer, when the location began allowing the foundation to hold events and build a sports space while still scheduling wedding receptions and other gatherings. Now, the building will be fully owned and operated by the charity.
While House Three Thirty will be available to the community at large, it will primarily be a space to assist I PROMISE families with recreational activities, financial advice, and job training opportunities. LJFF Executive Director Michele Campbell said:
"House Three Thirty represents years of us listening to our families and learning what they need. It’s addressing their financial health and giving them the skills they need to contribute to the workforce for a lifetime. Most importantly, it will be a source of pride and sense of belonging for our I PROMISE family and everyone who wants to be part of our movement to create positive change for generations to come. This concept is a game changer for our families, our community, and every community it touches."
Officials expect the new facility to be fully completed and operational in 2022.