In late 2011, Henry Ford Health Systems offered to donate a vacated medical clinic located at 4401 Conner to Warren/Conner Development Coalition (now Eastside Community Network). Given that ECN was facilitating revitalization efforts at nearby Chandler Park, which included the construction of a high-performing charter school, ECN, in conjunction with LAND, Inc. opted to accept the donation, with the goal of renovating the building as a charter school “incubator”, whereby 10 classrooms, office space and community space could be made available to the new charter school for its first two years of operation while a new building was being constructed at Chandler Park.
4401 Conner is a 25,000 square foot building constructed in 1961, and added onto in 1980. The building was in excellent condition at the time of its donation, and consisted of 3 wings of examination rooms and offices, employee break areas and locker rooms, and a large, open atrium. The building sits on a 2.6 acre campus located on the west side of Conner, just south of E. Canfield.
Renovations totaling $650,000 for 4401 Conner were generously supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Carls Foundation. Closing on the building took place in April 2012 and construction commenced immediately. Full renovations were completed in August 2012, and included interior demolition of 18,000 square feet of space to accommodate 10 new classrooms, new bathrooms, a warming kitchen, new electrical systems and modified HVAC. Construction proceeded quickly, and was finished on time, and on budget.
The remaining 7,000 square feet that were not renovated serve as the headquarters of LAND, Inc. and Eastside Community Network as well as Detroit Eastside Community Collaborative, a local non-profit who facilitates Detroit’s Eastside greenways initiative.
The charter school that was slated to occupy the renovated space did not materialize, but LAND, Inc. held onto the building, working diligently to find a suitable tenant. In September 2013, Adult Well Being Services signed a long-term lease, and now occupies that space, providing education services to Detroit’s developmentally disabled community.