WHY WE ARE CONTACTING YOU: The Inner City Christian Federation (ICCF) was recently awarded Michigan Blight Elimination Program funding to demolish the vacant party store at 316 Wealthy St. SE in Grand Rapids. The Heritage Hill Association, Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, and Grand Rapids Child Discovery Center all issued letters of support for this award, and as the owner of the site, ICCF is now working to meet the final terms of funding. The City of Grand Rapids Historic Preservation Commission must approve of the proposed demolition and to do so, ICCF must demonstrate that ‘retaining the resource is not in the interest of the majority of the community.’ Based on our conversations with surrounding businesses and Heritage Hill residents and representatives, ICCF believes there is substantial support for the demolition. This petition is intended to illustrate the support that is already there. WHAT WE ASK THAT YOU DO: Please sign this petition! By signing this petition, you are affirming that you live in the immediate area and believe that the vacant party store at 316 Wealthy St. SE is not a resource worth preserving. Your name and affirmation will be presented as evidence to the City of Grand Rapids Historic Preservation Commission as well as to the City of Grand Rapids Planning Commission to support ICCF’s request for approval to demolish the property. It is not necessary for you to attend either of these meetings, but your presence would be welcome. WHAT OUR PLANS ARE FOR THE SITE: As explained in a September 2011 community meeting, ICCF does have preliminary development plans for the site that include a potential mixture of ownership townhomes, rental apartments, and commercial space. These plans are not final and will continue to be shaped over time in consultation with the community and in accordance with available funding sources. If demolition is approved, the site will be seeded for grass and maintained by ICCF as a vacant lot. It has been the belief of ICCF and of the neighborhood constituents, that a well-kept vacant lot of green space is a better neighbor than a vacant party store. You may also be aware that ICCF also owns the property at 409 Prospect Ave. SE, which is next to the vacant party store. ICCF has acquired bids for the exterior painting and wood siding repair of that home. This work will be performed in the spring and will be finished regardless of whether demolition approval is granted. IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS: ICCF would be happy to answer any questions you may have about this petition and proposed demolition. Please contact Andrea Hipps at (616) 336-9333 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.