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Amplify GR prepares for Boston Square development proposal

The DeVos-backed nonprofit's 9-acre proposal includes affordable housing, local business spaces and dedicated community spaces.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A nonprofit group in Grand Rapids is preparing to present its 9-acre development proposal to the Grand Rapids City Commission board on Thursday.

Amplify GR, a DeVos-backed organization, is proposing over 200 new affordable housing units, an early learning center, local business spaces, a park and more. 

"Amplify worked very hard with the neighbors to identify their priorities as the neighborhood begins to change," Latesha Lipscomb, Amplify GR's engagement and relationships manager said.

Lipscomb said the organization wants to widen the pathway for affordable housing and not only help people become homeowners, but also protect existing homeowners from getting phased out. She said the organization has spoken with about 70 homeowners about the Neighborhood Strong program, which would partner them with home repair services to make necessary, sometimes costly, adjustments to their homes in the future.

"That gives us a chance to work with residents who have been here for 30 or 40 years. Because of the rising cost of homeownership, sometimes they can't necessarily afford to implement a new roof or those requirements that would keep the house up to code," she said.

Credit: AMPLIFY GR

The group held its fourth open house on Monday, encouraging community members to ask their burning questions about the development.

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"When you're talking about neighborhoods that have been traditionally bypassed and overlooked. When you're talking about a zip code that has endured so much disinvestment, people have a right to be scared. What is really exciting about doing this collective design together is we are able to continue to engage in dialogue where we can hear concerns, issues and priorities for neighbors as they arise," Lipscomb said.

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Amplify GR will take its proposal before the Grand Rapids City Commission on Thursday at 1 p.m.

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