Akron, OH

NBA Superstar LeBron James's House Three Thirty Center Aims to Empower Akron Community

Ted Rivers

LeBron James, the NBA star and philanthropist, has opened a new community center in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. The center, called House Three Thirty, is aimed at providing job training to local families and creating an economic engine for the community.

Located in a converted restaurant and event space, House Three Thirty has already created 45 jobs for students from the I Promise School, a public school in Akron that James founded in 2018. The center also features a Starbucks Community Store and a JPMorgan Chase Community Space.

In addition to these businesses, House Three Thirty is set to host a number of other ventures in the coming months, including an ice cream shop, the LeBron James Home Court museum and retail store, and a PepsiCo Foundation-sponsored training kitchen. There are also plans to open a theater for I Promise School performances, a taco shop, a wine tasting room, an event space, and a sports bar bearing LeBron James’s name.

Michele Campbell, the executive director of the LeBron James Family Foundation, explained that House Three Thirty has both a philanthropic and revenue-generating component. While the foundation's goal is to improve the community and provide opportunities for Akron families, it also needs to generate funds to continue its work.

"This is a dual facility," Campbell said. "There’s a philanthropic component and there’s a revenue component. So we do have to open and start booking events and doing all of that to help us fund that."

House Three Thirty is part of a broader investment by the LeBron James Family Foundation to improve the economic and social conditions in Akron. The foundation has also established the I Promise Village, a transitional housing program for families of I Promise School students, and the I Promise housing complex, which provides affordable housing for 50 families in partnership with the East Akron Neighborhood Development Corporation. Additionally, the foundation has opened the I Promise HealthQuarters, which provides primary care, lab facilities, and other health services to Akron residents.

James, who grew up in Akron and has spoken often about the challenges he faced as a child, said that House Three Thirty is part of his commitment to creating a better future for the city's young people.

"In everything we do as a foundation, it’s all about making our kids, parents, and people across the community believe there can be more in their lives than they ever dreamed possible," James said in a statement.
"We designed House Three Thirty to create opportunities and open doors to show them that anything is possible, and that they can do it right here in Akron."

House Three Thirty is an exciting development for Akron, which has been hit hard by economic challenges in recent years. The center is expected to create more jobs and opportunities for local families in the years to come.

Your Thoughts

What do you think of LeBron James's efforts to invest in his hometown of Akron, Ohio? Do you think philanthropic initiatives like House Three Thirty are effective ways to create jobs and support economic development in communities? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


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