September 26, 2019
Stop at the Allen Neighborhood Center any Wednesday this fall and you'll find neighbors chatting while browsing fresh fruit and vegetables at its farmers market. A chef from one of the food businesses using Allen's commercial kitchen will be inside preparing produce from the market for Thursday's Allen Kitchen To-Go. Members of the Senior Discovery Group will be lingering over coffee after the morning's discussion of current events, while a staff member helps a neighborhood resident navigate health insurance options.
The Allen Neighborhood Center has served its 8,500 neighbors well since 1999. For its 20th anniversary, the Neighborhood Center will get a makeover. ANC Holdings, LLC, with its partners the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), the Lansing Economic Development Corporation, and Cinnaire Solutions, will revitalize the Allen Neighborhood Center as a mixed-use development project called Allen Place. Allen Place will expand the neighborhood center on to adjacent property where past uses -- a dry cleaner, small engine repair, and gasoline service station -- left behind contaminated soil.
EGLE awarded an $850,000 brownfield redevelopment grant for investigation, proper disposal of the contaminated soil, partial building demolition, and a system to prevent harmful vapors from entering buildings. The brownfield grant will help protect residents, customers, volunteers, and workers from contamination.
When the $9.5 million project is finished, the Allen Neighborhood Center will have 7,500 square feet of new commercial space, 29 age-friendly apartments, and 15 new jobs to serve neighborhood residents for many more years.