Residents spearhead community hub project focused on health equity in SE Grand Rapids

When the people have a voice in building and bettering their community, everybody wins.

That is exactly what is going on in west Michigan as Cinnaire’s New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) team recently closed on a multipurpose community hub project led and shaped by more than 250 engaged neighbors and stakeholders.

The Boston Square Community Hub was a labor of love as residents formed a neighborhood advisory committee and came together with nonprofits in the area, including Amplify GR, to address the significant disparities in health outcomes, education and economic mobility right in their backyards. Along with nearly $7 million in funding from Cinnaire’s NMTC team and support from Amplify GR, the $25 million project broke ground this spring and expected to be complete in summer 2025.

The Boston Square Community Hub project will be a multipurpose facility, serving as a focal point of the southeast Grand Rapids community and addressing gaps in early childhood development, workforce training, expanding health and wellness services and providing a versatile community space. In addition, Amplify GR will partner with community organizations to provide business coaching, enrichment courses and job training opportunities to residents.

“This comprehensive community facility is not only helping folks find affordable and stable housing, but allowing them to thrive in all other areas of their life so they can level up,” said Mark McDaniel, Cinnaire CEO. “It aligns with each pillar of our work, including addressing immediate needs and social determinants of health so these families can go on to live healthy, happy and fulfilling lives.”

Located at 1534 Kalamazoo Ave., SE, Grand Rapids, the 45,000 square-foot Boston Square Community Hub will be the anchor of a broader vision for the Boston Square redevelopment, which includes 270 mixed-income apartments and retail spaces, revitalizing the area.

Key features include:

– A 9,000 square-foot early childhood education facility

– A 5,500 square-foot health center and workforce training center managed by Corewell Health, offering adult and pediatric care as week as training and education within for employees to attain higher paying roles

– A 5,000 square-foot after-school program facility for neighborhood youth

– A 4,500 square-foot fitness center and a 5,000 square-foot wellness center

– A co-working space and 4,220 square-foot entrepreneurship facility

– A 3,000 square-foot, 240-person capacity event space

– A local coffee shop

– 3,300 square feet for Amplify GR’s offices

– A planned 3,000 square-foot office space

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