Webster Community Center

Pontiac, MI
Breathing new life into Pontiac, Michigan, and offering an unparalleled blend of social services, educational programs, and cultural spaces designed to empower and enrich the lives of the community.
  • $34 Million
  • $7 Million New Markets Tax Credit Allocation
  • $5.5 Million Federal Historic Tax Credits
  • Micah 6 Community
  • Childcare, Educational Development, Transit Access, Healthy Food Access, Workforce Development, Small Business Support, Nonprofit Support
NTCIC Contact:
Mike Palien: mpalien@ntcic.com


The historic 54,000 square-foot Webster School opened in 1921 to support Pontiac’s population boom as tens of thousands flocked from the south to work in the rapidly growing automotive manufacturing industry that originally put the city on the map. The building was designed by Perkins, Fellows, and Hamilton, who were known for going over budget to create particularly ornate architectural designs and responsible for other local landmarks such as Lincoln Park Zoo. It originally featured 26 classrooms, a combination gym and auditorium, and an ornate foyer, all on five acres of land.

Originally an all-white school, Webster was desegregated in the 1970s and one of several schools made to participate in a bussing program after a historic lawsuit between the NAACP and the local school district. Already in a population decline as residents moved from the aging city center, the school was eventually closed in 2008 after nearly 90 years of operation.

It sat vacant for over 10 years until Micah 6 Community, the project sponsor, purchased the building in 2016 to serve as the new location for the mixed-use community-centered nonprofit hub.

The Project

The project is spearheaded by Micah 6 Community, a neighborhood-based community development corporation founded in 2012 with a mission to provide resources to address community challenges such as a lack of access to healthy food access, youth activities, and resources for unhoused individuals.

Once complete, the historic building will become the Webster Community Center, a vibrant ecosystem of over a dozen nonprofit and service-oriented organizations all dedicated to providing critical resources to children and families. Micah 6 Community has four primary areas of focus, all of which will be supported within the revitalized Webster Community Center: Entrepreneurship, arts and culture, youth activities, and health and wellness.

Webster is working to become a new location for a nonprofit Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that will provide Medicare/Medicaid-supported general healthcare services, primary care, and walk-in services. It will also host a Head Start program operated by the Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency (OLHSA), which will provide free preschool classes for the community and spark a child’s interest in learning.

The revitalized space will also enable Micah 6 Community to expand the Sprout Fresh Food Store, the fresh produce growth and distribution center it has operated since 2012. In the new community center, the Sprout Fresh Food Store will grow and expand into a full nonprofit food co-op and will further help consolidate fresh produce grown from across Oakland County to the project to address the community’s prolonged lack of fresh food access.

Webster will support a variety of youth enrichment tenants that will operate music, theater, art, sports, and STEM programming, all at low or no cost to participants. Accent Pontiac, a music education nonprofit, will provide musical education and aim to reduce any barriers that may exist by providing students with instruments, equipment, meals during class, and transportation to and from Webster, all at no cost.  The Police Athletic League (PAL) programming will offer a variety of sports programs for kids with the new indoor basketball court and outdoor play areas at Webster. FIRST Robotics is a STEM-focused group that will be operated by Great Engineering Kids of Tomorrow (GEKOT) and will offer a hands-on robotics learning program for the children of Pontiac.

To assist residents with accessing all of Webster’s programming and resources, the project will consolidate three nearby bus stops right at the building’s steps. The Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) Hub waiting room will provide commuters to and from Webster with a safe and comfortable space with ample seating and nearby food options inside the building, like Plain and Fancy Food, as they wait for their bus.


The development of the Webster Community Center will collocate a dozen service and development providers and increase access to quality food, primary medical care, and job training for nearly 12,000 people each year, with an estimated 160,000 unique annual visits. The HeadStart program will provide 360 low-income children with quality pre-k care, and the various afterschool programs will support more than 1,000 children each year. The business incubator estimates 32 program participants annually, over half of which will be Minority Business Enterprises (MBE). Once operational, the FQHC is estimated to support nearly 7,000 low-income people and families each year.


NTCIC facilitated an equity investment in the $5.5 million federal Historic Tax Credits generated by the $34 million historic development. Project financing also included more than $12 million in grants and donations from groups, including ARPA, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and Environment Great Lakes & Energy, showcasing overwhelming state and local support for the project. The successful capital campaign and NTCIC-sourced financing will enable the project to forgo long-term hard debt.

Over $17 million in additional NMTC allocation was provided by PNC Community Partners, Inc. and Michigan Community Capital.

Click here to read our project announcement.