The Allen Neighborhood Center (ANC) has served its community on Lansing’s east side since at least 1999. During that time, it has provided integrative services, food access, a community kitchen, exercise and fitness classes and continuing education for youth and seniors.
With an aging building and property contaminated from previous owners’ activities, upgrades were vital to helping ANC continue to grow and help the community.
A new day for the ANC began on Oct. 21, when a groundbreaking ceremony took place to clean up and redevelop the property. The newly renamed Allen Place is set to become a community hub that will feature a revitalized neighborhood, food entrepreneurism and activities that promote health and well-being.
Representing the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy via videotaped comments at the groundbreaking event, Mike Neller, director of the department’s Remediation and Redevelopment Division, noted the important role of EGLE’s $850,000 brownfield grant toward making Allen Place’s vision a reality.
“Brownfield grants are designed to assist with contamination issues that allow redevelopment projects to move forward,” he said. “Brownfield projects are complicated. They require persistence, patience, commitment, vision, collaboration, and multiple partnerships. I’d like to acknowledge my staff members who worked on this and all of the partners that are working together to make this project work.”
Neller added that as a Lansing native, he is excited about the development and revitalization of one of the neighborhoods in his hometown.
To address the volatile and metal contaminants, the redevelopment will include assessment activities, transportation and disposal of contaminated soil, a vapor mitigation system, and associated planning, oversight, testing, and project management.
When complete, the Allen Place project will include 21 mixed-income rental housing units, a health clinic, a food co-op specializing in locally grown/raised food products, and an accelerator kitchen.