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Boston Square neighborhood 'raises the roof' to celebrate community hub

The neighborhood, on the southeast side of Grand Rapids, will soon be home to several community resources all under one roof.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Wednesday was a day of celebration at the corner of Kalamazoo Avenue and Ramona Street. Formerly the home of a church, the property is about to be transformed into a community hub for the Boston Square Neighborhood. It's an investment that neighbors say is a long time coming.

"As we all know, in Grand Rapids, the southeast side, 49507 in particular, hasn't gotten the investments that the other neighborhoods in Grand Rapids have," said Kenyatta Brame, who serves as the board chairperson for an organization behind the effort, Amplify GR.

"So, when I look at this project and I see all these people here today and I see the investments we're pouring into this neighborhood, I feel this is something that needed to be done and finally we're doing it."

When it's complete, the hub will be home to an early learning center, a clinic and wellness center, a coffee shop, a multi-purpose room, and community areas. Neighbors say they're excited to put the building to good use.

"I'm super, super excited for that because it's an opportunity for growth and support for quite literally everyone," said Nuriya Nesby who lives in the area and attends City High.

Loretta Crawford, who is a Boston Square neighbor and serves as member of the Amplify GR Neighborhood Advisory Committee, says this project puts members of the community front and center.

"This is also going to be for generations to come. We're raising our babies in this neighborhood and it's a beautiful thing to involve neighbors," she said.

"I'm so excited for this community hub to come here in this area and be able to benefit this area, and the kids that are going to grow up in this area, and the families that are going to be in this area."

The hub is expected to open in late 2024 or early 2025.

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