Cinnaire Solutions & Allen Neighborhood Center Join Forces to Revitalize Lansing’s Eastside

Allen Place Project Will Provide Mixed-Income Housing and Serve as a Hub for Wide Range of Community Services

After more than 21 years of providing food and health related services to Lansing residents, the Allen Neighborhood Center (ANC) is undertaking a major rebuild. Cinnaire Solutions and ANC have partnered to raise a total of $11 million to support the project, resulting in the creation of 14 full-time jobs. Since 2018, Cinnaire Solutions, the in-house development affiliate of Cinnaire, has partnered with ANC Holdings, LLC, to generate funding and bring about this comprehensive development project. Cinnaire has invested $5.9 million to support the rehabilitation and significant expansion of the ANC to create Allen Place, a project at the intersection of food, health, housing and energy innovation. Cinnaire Lending provided a $300,000 predevelopment loan to support the vital first steps toward making this project a reality.

“Cinnaire Solutions is focused on making meaningful impact guided by five principles – people, place, partnerships, pioneering, and prosperity,” said Christopher Laurent, Cinnaire Solutions President. “It has been a rewarding experience for our team to collaborate with the ANC team to bring this transformative project to Lansing’s Eastside.”

A groundbreaking ceremony will take place on October 21st from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. The event will be held on site with safety protocols for social distancing and including pre-recorded messages. A post event recording will be widely distributed and available upon request.

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 increased access to healthy food options for area residents. An Accelerator Kitchen will catalyze expanded business opportunities and growth for small scale food entrepreneurs. The Accelerator, along with ANC’s six-year old Incubator Kitchen, will create a pipeline of small food business development infrastructure on the block. The initial makers in the Accelerator Kitchen include Teff-rific (Ethiopian cuisine,) Tantay (Peruvian cuisine,) Hobie’s, and Slows BarBQ.

The development team has partnered with the Lansing Board of Water and Light to create a micro-grid incorporating multiple methods of solar collection (e.g., solar­ collecting roof panels and carports and solar doc picnic tables in our ‘solar courtyard’.)

“We’re thrilled to partner on this project, which gives BWL the opportunity to evaluate the state of technology as we chart our clean energy future,” said BWL General Manager Dick Peffley. “This is just one more way we’ve listened to our customers to be more sustainable, and helps us become the Utility of the Future.”

Conveniently located in close proximity to Downtown Lansing, the project will provide much-needed affordable housing options for individuals, families, young professionals and seniors. Allen Place provides an age-friendly environment designed to facilitate social interaction and social programming and allowing senior residents to age in place. Other project amenities for residents will include active programming from ANC, a community room, computer center, outdoor picnic areas and ‘green spaces ‘, an on-site farmers market, nutrition education and cooking classes.

Since 1999, ANC has pioneered programs in health education and outreach, housing improvement, food security and nutrition education, youth development, commercial corridor revitalization, and social capital building.

Nelson envisions the development having a ripple effect in the rest of the Kalamazoo Street corridor. “We knew doing something really significant would likely catalyze improvements and further development in the commercial nodes up and down East Kalamazoo,” she said. By contributing to traditional downtown districts and revitalizing public space in geographically disadvantaged areas, these projects are helping to establish attractive places to live, work and play.

In addition to Cinnaire, the Allen Place Project has received generous support from the City of Lansing, Michigan Community Capital (providing an allocation of New Market Tax Credits), the Lansing Economic Development Corporation, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Michigan Department of Agriculture, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy (EGLE), Lansing Board of Water & Light, the Michigan Good Food Fund, Lansing Area Community Trust Fund, Consumers Energy Foundation, The Accident Fund, Capital Area Community Foundation, and Comerica Foundation. In addition, PNC Bank provided ANC with a $3.4 million loan to help make the development a reality.

“PNC’s Community Development Banking group is committed to improving the quality of life in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods,” said Tim Salisbury, PNC regional president for Mid-Michigan. “Our team collaborated with a great group of dedicated professionals to make this truly amazing project come to life.”

This neighborhood-crafted project also enjoys enthusiastic support from the engaged and mobilized residents of Lansing’s Eastside.

About Allen Neighborhood Center

Since 1999, ANC has served as a dynamic hub where Lansing Eastside neighbors can access resources to improve their health and well-being; expand their capacity to seize job, entrepreneurial, and other opportunities; create a strong sense of place, belonging, and community pride; and build a safe, sustainable, and thriving neighborhood together.


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