Joan Nelson, Executive Director of Allen Neighborhood Center (ANC), connected with Cinnaire Solutions when ANC was provided the opportunity to purchase the site where several of their community services were housed. Their organization viewed this as an ideal opportunity to expand its services while joining in the revitalization of Lansing’s Eastside. The ANC was a 23-year-old hub for comprehensive and integrative community development, providing programs focused on health, food security/access, youth development, entrepreneurism and job skill training, commercial corridor revitalization, and neighborhood capacity-building.
Working closely with Cinnaire Solutions and a host of partners and supporters, ANC was able to launch Allen Place in 2022. This $11M complex combines 21 units of age-friendly, mixed-income housing with commercial space, integrative services and programming for the community.
Located on East Kalamazoo Street in Lansing, the two-story, 29,000 gross-square-foot building serves as a nonprofit hub for neighborhood revitalization “at the intersection of food, health, housing and energy innovation.”
Allen Place Features:
- 21 apartments (eight 2-bedroom, nine 1-bedroom and four studio units) with Energy Star appliances, 9’ ceilings and large windows. All units are connected to a solar powered Board of Water & Light micro-grid. Seven units are income-controlled for households earning 80% AMI or less.
- The Allen Community Health Center, part of the Ingham Health Centers Network, offering primary medical care, behavioral health counseling, a laboratory, and pharmacy to low- and moderate- income individuals. (featured in April 2022 article in The New York Times)
- The Rathbun Accelerator Kitchen is a shared-use commercial kitchen for emerging food businesses. Upon opening, it provided opportunities for four small scale food entrepreneurs–graduates of ANC’s 8-year old Incubator Kitchen program– to expand their business model.
- A new Prep and Pack Kitchen, nourished by AF Group to house ANC’s multi-farm community supported agriculture project.
- The ELFCO Food Co-op and Consignment Grocery, a long-time fixture for the Lansing community, increases access to healthy food options for area residents through a natural foods grocery store, year-round farmer’s market and a food pantry.
- Office space for local nonprofit organizations.
- A vibrant mural (see above) painted on an exterior wall, depicting the farmer’s market and local festivals. The mural was selected as a finalist for the Contemporary African-American Award, given by the ArtPrize contest in Grand Rapids.
“Cinnaire Solutions brought extensive experience and know-how to our project. They walked us through the early and middle stages of financing and creating Allen Place. This has included crafting of proformas, completing daunting grant applications, selecting and working with architects, engineers, contractors, city and state officials and more.
The team has been patient, instructive, accessible and, importantly, committed to helping us build capacity and deepen our understanding of development processes.”
The Allen Place Story