Miguel Pilgram, who won $52 million in the lottery in 2010, is using his winnings to help rebuild Florida’s Black community.
Specifically, Pilgram is using his company, The Pilgram Group, to invest in properties on Sistrunk Boulevard, a corridor that was once Fort Lauderdale’s blooming center of Black business but is now known for violence and crime.
The corridor, which was named for James Sistrunk, the first African American hospital in Broward County in 1938, ran directly through the city’s Black business district and was known as the “historical heartbeat of Fort Lauderdale’s oldest black community.”
But after desegregation, the area fell into disrepair.
Now, Pilgram hopes to remedy that situation after his company purchased three buildings on the boulevard, which he hopes to use to build up a jazz lounge, blues lounge, restaurants, and a center for performing arts.
“For me, it’s [about] preserving the community as a whole,” Pilgram told an NBC local affiliate station in South Florida.
He added that it was important to preserve the culture of the area and to let the local residents benefit from their own community.
“I was raised in a similar environment,” he told The Sun-Sentinel. “There is a need, and in my mind, an obligation, to invest there.”