Government and Real Estate

Two residential renovations on tap for city

July 12, 2013
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Grand Rapids city commissioners will hear firsthand next week about a pair of new residential projects planned for the southeast side. Both are asking for obsolete-property status and both are being proposed by the same developer.

Cherry Street Apartments LLC wants to renovate the two buildings into 18 market-rate apartments.

One is at 822 Cherry St. SE, a two-story building with 8,300 square feet of space. The vacant structure was built in 1958 and most recently used by Cherry Street Health Services as office space. Cherry Street Apartments has proposed to transform the building into six apartments equally split between two- and three-bedroom units, and also offer 2,000 square feet for office space.

The second is at 220 Eastern Ave. SE, a three-story vacant building with 8,400 square feet of space. It was built in 1915 and also most recently used by Cherry Street Health Services, as housing for Project Rehab, a substance abuse operation. Cherry Street Apartments wants to convert the building into a dozen rental units, with one one-bedroom and 11 two-bedroom units.

Not only are the projects similar, the price tags are, too. Cherry Street Apartments plans to invest $454,000 to rehabilitate the Cherry Street structure and $406,000 to renovate the Eastern Avenue building, for a total investment of $860,000.

Shayne Malone is a principal in Cherry Street Apartments and has a lengthy track record in finance and real estate. He spent 15 months at Colliers International of West Michigan, a commercial real estate firm, through last July in the retail and multi-family markets. Malone also has worked for Select Bank, Salzburg Development, Grand Bank and other industry-related businesses. He is currently a principal at Hampton Equities and has held that position since 2004.

Both buildings are in the East Hills section of the city, and City Economic Development Director Kara Wood said the neighborhood and business associations there support the projects.

The public hearings next week Tuesday are the first step for the projects. If both are granted obsolete status, Cherry Street Apartments will have roughly $16,000 in state and city property taxes abated each year for 10 years.

Ten new jobs are expected to be created at the Cherry Street address as part of the office space; those jobs are expected to pay $20 an hour, which will add nearly $4,000 annually to the city’s income-tax base.

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