Thibault Manekin will be representing Seawall Development at the White House on Thursday when it is honored as one of the Champions of Change.
The honor is in recognition of Seawall’s innovative work that includes the Miller’s Court in Remington and the Union Mill in Hampden. Seawall is also currently redeveloping the Lebow Building in Station Arts North into a state of the art “transformation school.”
According to the White House website, Champions of Change is a weekly initiative to highlight Americans who are making an impact in their communities and helping our country rise to meet the many challenges of the 21st century
Both the Miller’s Court and Union Mill projects provide affordable housing for Baltimore City school teachers and office space for non-profits.
Manekin, 33, explained his company’s vision as using real estate to develop communities. He said the company tries to do that through breathing life into abandoned buildings, which will in turn bring people to a community.
“It was more about creating a company of social entrepreneurs than just a real estate development company,” Manekin said.
While at the White House, Manekin will speak to federal officials about the company’s projects and ways the government could help expand Seawall’s work. Seawall has done two projects outside of Baltimore, in New Orleans and Philadelphia.
Manekin, of Phoenix, said he was honored to be going to the White House, but stressed the honor was for the hundreds of people who make Seawall’s projects happen.
“It’s a huge honor, but I’m just a representative,” Manekin said.