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Success Stories

3219 MLK LLC

RVCDF helped Christi Muoneke finance the acquisition and improvement of mixed-use commercial space.

Christi Muoneke—a Nigerian immigrant who was just five years old when she and her family fled their country as refugees during the Nigeria-Biafra War—moved to South Seattle in the 1990s. Since then, she has worked as a corporate attorney, technology entrepreneur, and owner of her own successful law firm, formerly based in Columbia City.

Christi is very involved in the local community and currently serves on the board of The Northwest School. She has also served on the boards of the Rainier Valley Community Development Fund (RVCDF), SEEDArts, Technology Access Foundation, Big Sisters of King County, Hack the CD, and many others.

She now focuses on helping empower micro to small businesses in the Rainier Valley, especially those near the Mount Baker light rail station, through her own business that is centered on commercial real estate and community development of affordable retail and office space. Christi’s flagship property is the Weed Building in historic Columbia City that she purchased in 2009.

As a real estate investor, Christie needed funds to purchase and improve 3219 MLK Jr. Way South—a 12,644 sq. ft. site located adjacent to Mount Baker light rail station and the newly completed Artspace Mount Baker Lofts. The property includes 7,344 sq. ft. of existing commercial space that is currently home to Café Ibex—a popular Ethiopian restaurant—and an East African grocery/convenience store, as well as a vacant unfinished space in the rear which she plans to lease to a nonprofit technology education program.

Having previously served on the board of RVCDF, Christi was familiar with its loan programs and reached out to RVCDF for financing.

She plans to subdivide the MLK Jr. property into four units, which will provide space for lease to small local businesses, including three that will be brand new to this location. This site has potential for future development, with its strategic location near the Mount Baker light rail station, fitting in nicely with the mission of RVCDF to activate and put to highest and best use properties near transit sites.

Moving forward, Christi hopes to acquire more real estate in the Rainier Valley community, as well as completing additional rehabilitation and tenant improvements.


2 women/minority-owned tenants retained

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