Client: Evans Center
Client Location: Palm Bay, FL
CDFI: Florida Community Loan Fund (FCLF)
CDFI Service Area: Florida
In a Brevard County neighborhood, the Evans Supermarket once thrived and served residents of both northeast Palm Bay and south Melbourne. Mr. Evans gave the community a safe, attractive place to buy healthy foods, offered employment to local residents, and became an important community gathering spot. After Mr. Evans’ death, the building experienced a decline and became an eyesore, ultimately causing the city to demolish it in 2012. A few years later in 2016, the Evans Center purchased the land and constructed a $1.5 million community healthcare center, with the help of $700,000 in financing from Florida Community Loan Fund (FCLF).
The Evans Center, located in a USDA-designated food desert, was developed by Evans Center, Inc., a subsidiary of Neighbor Up Brevard, on the site of the former Evans Supermarket. The new 6,000 square foot multi-purpose facility opened in March 2019 and houses a grocery store with fresh produce and meats, a Federally Qualified Health Center operated by Brevard Health Alliance, and a community room used for job training, health and wellness education, and more. The purpose of the new building was identified by area residents through surveys, which confirmed their needs for:
• Access to fresh food
• Youth job training
• Healthcare and wellness programs
• A community gathering place
“Evans Center is grateful for FCLF’s partnership on this economic development project. Area residents are filled with hope and excitement, envisioning bins filled with healthy foods, healthcare services through the clinic, and exchanges among neighbors as they support their community,” said Lynn Brockwell-Carey, executive director of Neighbor Up Brevard and project manager at the Evans Center.
See this video from FCLF to learn more about the Evans Center project.