After winning millions in the lottery, a South Florida man has decided to use his winnings to rebuild a historic black community.
“This commitment that I feel, that I have to go to that community and put my money where my mouth is,” stated Miguel Pilgram.
According to the Sun Sentinel, in 2010 Pilgram, a Memphis, Tenn., native, won $52 million in the lottery and began investing his money, building a real estate empire. Now the millionaire has taken on his most ambitious project yet: rebuilding the Sistrunk Boulevard area of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., restoring the area that was once a thriving area for black businesses.
The area was named after James Sistrunk, a black physician known for opening the first hospital for African Americans in Broward County, Fla. During segregation, local laws prevented black people from crossing the tracks to the city’s east side after dark.
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While the area has been a target of other developers, Pilgram says he wants to preserve the history and heritage of the district. He plans to build a restaurant, jazz lounge and a performing arts center, as well as retail and residential spaces, the real estate magnate told NBC Miami.