Akron gets a first look at LeBron James' 'House Three Thirty'
The LeBron James Family Foundation opened its House Three Thirty doors to the public Wednesday, during what it called a 330 Day celebration. The festivities included food trucks and guided tours of the building.
The name of the center and the choice of March 30 for the open house are both a nod to Akron's long-standing connection and identity with area code 330.
House Three Thirty is billed as a multi-use center offering programming and services for I PROMISE families and the larger Akron community.
Once fully built out, the facility will include a center for financial advice, restaurants, meeting space, a performance venue and a LeBron James Museum.
Services will include family financial health programming and job training opportunities through the venue’s retail, dining and event spaces. Indoor and outdoor events will also be held at House Three Thirty, as well as monthly meals and family programming.
“It's a way to have job training under the ‘We are family’ philosophies and explore different career paths within a 60,000 square foot building,” said Michele Campbell, executive director of the James Foundation. “There's lots of different things going on in here and lots of career paths.”
This was the first chance for a glimpse at the transformation of what had been the landmark Tangier, a longtime Akron restaurant, nightclub and event space which the foundation bought in December of 2020.
The hope is for House Three Thirty to be just as thriving as the Tangier was, Campbell said.
“We want to have a wedding going on there, hundreds of people in the sports bar, a group downstairs in the museum. I don't know how many employees that will take to run all that, but hundreds of employees,” Campbell said while giving a tour of the facility. “Something going on in the taco shop. Someone's singing in the cabaret. We've got students, family members hanging out, grabbing a coffee.”
As for how the foundation decided what businesses, event spaces and resources would be included at House Three Thirty, Campbell pointed to the needs of Akron families.
“A lot of our research when we started was sitting and, honestly, talking to LeBron and [his mom] Gloria, ‘What would have helped you growing up in Akron?’ So that has extended to our families and what would they want to see,” Campbell said.
House Three Thirty is the latest community effort by James' foundation which started with the I PROMISE school in 2018, a partnership with Akron Public Schools. The school offers resources, access to opportunities, skill development, and wraparound services for more than 1,300 students.
House Three Thirty is located a short walk from the I PROMISE school.