GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy has approved a $1 million brownfield redevelopment grant to revitalize a property in southeast Grand Rapids.
The project — called Boston Square Together — has been in the works for several years. Several groups, including Amplify GR and the Boston Square Neighborhood Association, are behind the effort, working on redesigning the stretch of Kalamazoo Avenue between Ramona and Adams Streets.
The first phase of redevelopment will include two mixed-use buildings, including 102 apartments and 16,000 square feet of commercial space. The property is also expected to include townhomes, a market, outdoor space and an amphitheater.
EGLE says past use on the property has contaminated the soil and groundwater, opening it up for a brownfield grant. The property has been home to several commercial and industrial businesses, including an auto repair shop and an aluminum window and door manufacturing company.
“The $1,000,000 brownfield redevelopment grant will help make the property safe for reuse by supporting demolition of several existing buildings, additional environmental assessment of the property, proper disposal of contaminated soil and installation of barriers and ventilation systems beneath future buildings to prevent potential exposure to residual contamination,” EGLE said in a release.
The organizers behind Boston Square Together have held three listening sessions to get community feedback on their thoughts on the project.
“This hub that’s going up is going to be that kind of tying piece that brings the neighborhood, the developers, the city, the residents all together. We’re hoping that this hub is kind of like that city center for us,” Boston Square Neighborhood Association Board Member Kimberley Williams told WOOD TV8 in May. “We want it to be developed intentionally to say we’re not trying to displace; we’re trying to embrace.”
Overall, the project is expected to cost $38 million and will be covered by a mix of public and private funds.