On Beatties Ford Road, Erika Troutman is helping others grow business dreams

In March 2020, Erika Troutman bought an aging building in northwest Charlotte –1202 Beatties Ford Road – with dreams of creating generational wealth.

Nestled in the heart of Historic West End, the clapboard structure had once been owned by another wealth builder, Larry Melton, who founded L.D. Melton Financial Services. In its heyday, Melton’s company had more than $18 million in assets under management, according to a company website. Melton also was known for his prolific fundraising efforts on behalf of historically Black colleges and universities.

Now three years after Troutman bought the building from Melton’s widow and launched an extensive renovation – she gutted the structure and gave it a new exterior – 1202 Beatties Ford Road has a modern look and three new tenants – all Black, all women and all ambitious entrepreneurs.

[Also Read: An aging West End building will be renovated as office space for small businesses]

Troutman said she wants the building to serve as an incubator for small businesses, a place where dreamers can get their entrepreneurial footing before launching out on their own to expand.

“Beatties Ford Road,” she said, “is the Black Wall Street of Charlotte.”

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