Alonzo Ramon Stallworth will tell you flat out – real estate isn’t his true love, necessarily. Rather, his District 2 Detroit neighborhood is where his passions lie, and he uses property development as a tool to engage with and give back to his community.
Stallworth, or “King Yadee” as he’s known around town, is a licensed contractor who takes on lofty projects like multi-unit apartment complexes and restaurants, but he also buys and renovates abandoned homes in his community while preaching the power of generational wealth.
Since founding Th3 Block Development in 2018, Stallworth has renovated over 30 homes, with five homes acquired so far under the ownership of the company, but he’s been involved in this sort of work since he was young.
His uncle, who raised him since he was 12 years old, was an entrepreneur, a mechanic and a contractor. “I saw him hustle up enough money to buy us a house” on Archdale Street near Seven Mile. “He was that guy for that block. He was the guy who made sure everybody ate. He was the guy that made sure every woman was taken care of,” Stallworth says.
His uncle would also take him on jobs and introduce him to the contracting business. “Real estate has always just been there – that was like my hustle, my go-to,” he says. In 2018, Stallworth figured out how he could turn his part-time hustle into a full-time business, one that centers the community.
“I really got in tune with myself and with my God, and we got a mission – and that’s what I’m on right now.” Stallworth uses Th3 Block Development as an opportunity to teach the youth and the community fundamentals like home ownership, credit awareness and repair, and the ins and outs of construction like HVAC systems and electrical work.
His knowledge of the business basics came from an unlikely source. Before he was a developer, Stallworth was a rapper – hence the King Yadee moniker – and he says music taught him a lot of what he knows about growth and ownership.
“When I went to Atlanta, I saw those young, Black boys owning studios. Before I moved out of the state in 2009, everybody was rapping in their basements. I went to Atlanta, and these boys had buildings. They had studios and businesses,” he says. “That taught me how to structure a business. That taught me checks and balances, how to invest and how to cross my t’s and dot my i’s.”
Music also taught him how to advocate for himself, structure his own narrative and make his own way. Stallworth survived a tough childhood that saw both parents die when he was just 5 years old.
“I’m an orphan. My brothers and the streets raised me. If I didn’t have them, I would’ve been dead or in jail. So, how do (I) repay them? By being in the streets, by being a mentor, by making sure kids don’t go to jail, by making sure they ain’t selling drugs,” he says.
He’s been to Flint three different times with U-Haul trailers chock-full of supplies for the residents still feeling the effects of the water crisis. Stallworth says the work he does to engage the community in and outside of Detroit – and around hands-on education – is meant to emphasize the importance of ownership, influence and wealth.
He wants to see us start to look ahead and invest in the future. He says, “We need land. We don’t own nothing if we don’t own land. If we control the land, we control the vote.”
For more information on Th3 Block Development, visit linktr.ee/Th3Block.