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Brush Street Park Festival celebrates playground donation in Portland, MI


With a magic show, free food, plus kids’ carnival games and a new playground to try out, about 75-100 neighborhood families turned out Tuesday, July 11, at the Brush Street Park Festival in Portland, MI.

The Brush Street Park Festival was co-sponsored by the City of Portland and The Woda Group, Inc, developers of the nearby Portland School Apartments, a historic adaptive reuse to transform the 1920s school into affordable housing for area families earning 60% of the area median income and below. It is set to be opened Fall 2017.

Woda donated and moved the large playground structure to Portland from Corunna, MI, where it couldn’t be used at another Woda property. Woda’s Senior Vice President Craig Patterson estimates the large like-new playground equipment plus the labor to install it would be valued at approximately $60,000.

“After we acquired the Portland School, the City of Portland approached us about renovating Brush Street Park right next door. The timing was perfect – it just so happened we had this beautiful equipment that needed a new home and so we were able to bring it over and install it,” Patterson said. “The reenergized park is great for families who currently live in the neighborhood and for the families that will live in the Portland School Apartments.”

City of Portland officials were beaming at the festival. “This is now the premier playground in Portland,” said S. Tutt Gorman, Portland’s City Manager, before a ribbon-cutting ceremony held at the event. “We thank the Woda Group. We are really pleased with what they got done – it was beyond our dreams,” Gorman added.

Other city officials and VIPs attended the event including Portland’s Park Director Neil Brown said park use has increased dramatically since the new equipment was installed. Tina ConnerWellman, Director of Portland DDA/Main Street, applauded the private-public effort that benefits neighborhood families and the city.


Read more about the Portland School Apartments here:

Jan Mosser and other alums from Class of 1962 attended the festival. The class was one of the last to graduate from the Portland School site being renovated now into the Portland School Apartments.
Woda’s Craig Patterson led the festivities as Portland dignitaries including City Manager S. Tutt Gorman (second from right) looks on.  Council member Amanda Johnston (left) and Tina ConnerWellman of Portland DDA/Mainstreet are also shown.
About 100 families turned out for the festival with hot dogs, root beer, lemonade and homemade ice cream from the Chocolate Moose and kettle corn from J.W. Kettle Corn. Plus there were kids’ games and entertainment.
Magic show by Really, The Clown.
Local volunteers helped kids get involved.

The Woda Group, Inc. and its affiliates are experienced developers, general contractors, and property managers specializing in the design, construction, and management of affordable multi-family apartments, senior communities, and single-family homes.  Considered leading experts in the affordable housing industry, the Woda team is known for producing and maintaining high quality affordable housing.  Affordable Housing Finance Magazine ranked The Woda Group, Inc. 9th overall among Affordable Housing Developers and 22nd overall among Affordable Housing Owners in its April/May 2017 issue. The Woda Group, Inc. has developed and currently manages more than 275 communities and more than 10,000 units.

The Woda Group, Inc. has offices in Westerville, Ohio; Annapolis, Maryland; Savannah, Georgia; Shelbyville, Kentucky; Norfolk, Virginia; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Mackinaw City, Michigan. For more information, call (614) 641-2301 or visit