Clinic business

Boston Square ‘community center’ will include child care, health clinic and workforce development elements

GRANDS RAPIDS – City planners will soon consider a major component of Amplify GRof the vast Boston Square Together project by .

The development’s “community center” at 1534 Kalamazoo Ave. SE would include an early learning center, health clinic, after-school programming, workforce development space, co-working space, cafe, and a multipurpose room that could be used for a banquet. or show.

Amplify GR’s special land use request also includes the sale or consumption of alcohol which “may occasionally occur on the site”, according to the request which will be considered by the Grand Rapids Planning Commission on June 9. .

The nonprofit hopes to begin construction this fall and be complete by the end of 2023, said Amplify GR executive director Jon Ippel.

The first phase of the community center includes the renovation of the existing eastern two-thirds of the building into a main hall, an early learning center and other community spaces. The second phase includes a health clinic on the first floor and a wellness area on the second floor with offices.

About 50 full-time jobs would be created to run the community center when completed, according to a memo filed with planning officials.

Neighborhood Collaborative for Early Learning would occupy 11,000 square feet to provide early childhood education services.

“An early learning center is something residents have been asking for for nearly 20 years,” Ippel said. “As we look for ways to help children prepare successfully for kindergarten, this is important for their development as well as supporting parents who need child care and ensuring there is affordable places for their children to go during the day.”

The community center is the “front porch” of the entire Boston Square Together mixed-use plan that includes 12 properties spanning about 10 acres in the Boston Square neighborhood on the city’s southeast side, Ippel said. . The plan also provides for up to 270 residential units of various types and affordable prices.

The first part of the Boston Square Together project, Kzoo station: a community kitchen + a restaurant, slated to open this year at 1445 Kalamazoo St. SE, in coordination with SpringGR. The community kitchen will allow local residents to test catering concepts in an incubation space.

The project design team includes Urban worksbased in Grand Rapids Complete engineeringand based in Grand Rapids Nederveld.

Amplify GR was founded with the financial support of the Doug and Maria DeVos Foundationthe Cheri DeVos Foundation and Rockford Construction Co. Amplify GR has worked with the City of Grand Rapids, Boston Square Neighborhood Association, and Oakdale Neighbors over the past year to gather feedback on the plan.

Victor Williams, who heads the Boston Square Neighborhood Association, previously said MiBiz that he works with other community leaders to advocate for local ownership of the new businesses and institutions that Amplify GR includes in its new development.

“That’s what we want to do: make sure we think about this thing throughout, especially for the black community, because it’s the biggest community in Boston Square right now and historically,” said Williams at MiBiz in April. “We’ve walked hand in hand with (Amplify GR), but we can’t just say, ‘Go ahead, we trust you. It’s a process.

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