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16000 E. Michigan Ave., Albion 49224

Nonprofits and Downtown Development

Nonprofit organizations are a mainstay of arts and culture projects and social service agencies. However, it is often not apparent that nonprofits support business attraction and retention, economic development and, help to fill financing gaps through grant funds. Nonprofits are capable of driving economic activity in communities that are lacking traditional economic activity such as diverse business growth, technological developments, a skilled workforce, and available capital investment. Albion, like so many Midwestern towns, has struggled for decades to attract traditional economic drivers. As a 501(c)3 organization, Albion Reinvestment Corporation (ARC) is positioned to play the role of an economic driver in the city of Albion.

The model that ARC is using has been successful in other communities throughout Michigan, specifically Flint and the Uptown Reinvestment Corporation. As an organization, their mission “is to encourage entrepreneurial business development in the downtown Flint business district by enhancing the public infrastructure and improve aesthetics, increase downtown residency, and develop the downtown into an attractive area for business, employment, and entertainment.” As an organization, they are solely focused on the downtown Flint business district, just as ARC’s focus is Albion’s downtown corridor. Through its work with the Mott Foundation, Uptown Reinvestment Corporation has completed more than a dozen projects through public/private partnerships. Their coalition of local government, education, businesses, and charitable institutions have come together to move their mission forward and see success in downtown Flint.

In Albion, ARC administers funds to facilitate the acquisition, renovation, and lease and sale of underserved properties to help eliminate blight and encourage businesses to start-up in and relocate to Albion. In an economy where there are not investors to make things happen, this model provides the capital to incentivize an otherwise unachievable development.

Albion Reinvestment Corporation’s work after the last three years has been possible only through charitable donations and strategic partnerships with private and public entities. This investment of time, talent, and capital will continue to drive ARC’s work toward the transformational work that began this year. As a nonprofit, we must be good stewards of the donations that we receive and make wise investments. We believe that the future of Albion and a revitalized core to the community is an investment worth making.

About the Author

Dr. Samuel Shaheen serves as President and CEO of Shaheen Development. For 50 years, Shaheen Development has enriched our communities by creating places for living, working, leisure, and healthcare. Dr. Shaheen has passion and a 20 year history of urban redevelopment projects throughout Michigan which includes the restoration of the Historic Temple Theater in Saginaw. Dr. Shaheen’s community leadership roles include: founding member of the Temple Theatre Foundation, he helped establish the Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum, and is one of two founding directors of the Saginaw Art Museum. He has served on numerous boards and is currently on the Great Lakes Advisory Board of Huntington Bank, the Board of Trustees for Albion College, and is a past chair of the Covenant Healthcare Mackinaw Surgery Center Board. Dr. Shaheen has received many awards over the years for his business, leadership and philanthropic endeavors, including the 2016 Governor’s Award for Community Philanthropy, Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame, Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce Spirit of Saginaw Award, and Saginaw Future’s Outstanding Economic Investment Award just to name a few. In addition to his philanthropic and development projects, Dr. Shaheen is the Executive Director for Central Michigan University Medical Education Partners. The partnership between Central Michigan University and Saginaw’s two major hospital systems. Prior, he served as Professor of Surgery and Chair of Surgical Disciplines for CMU College of Medicine. Dr. Shaheen is a 1988 graduate of Albion College where he graduated Summa Cum Laude, he earned his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Michigan in 1992 and completed his surgical training at Northwestern University in 1997 before returning to his hometown of Saginaw. He resides in Saginaw with his wife Holly, and his four children.

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