Construction, Real Estate, and Sustainability

616 Development plans $3M apartment complex in Grand Rapids

August 6, 2013
Text Size:
616 Development plans $3M apartment complex in Grand Rapids
The interior of the former Bethlehem Church in Grand Rapids’ Heritage Hill neighborhood, prior to being redeveloped into 616 Lofts on Prospect. Photo via

Just as the firm heads into the home stretch of its renovation of the Kendall Building in downtown Grand Rapids into a dozen apartments, 616 Development revealed a plan to expand its growing 616 Lofts community into a church in an historic neighborhood.

Heritage Hill landmark

616 Development intends to preserve and restore an 80-year-old, Gothic Revival-style structure in Heritage Hill and then convert the former home of Bethlehem Church, at 253 Prospect Ave. NE, into 22 market-rate apartments.

The company will invest $3 million into its latest project, 616 Lofts on Prospect.

“Considering its proximity to the Medical Mile and downtown Grand Rapids and its incredible location in historic Heritage Hill, this building offers an amazing opportunity to extend our urban community,” said Derek Coppess, founder of 616 Development.

“We’re excited to bring new life and community to this unused space. Our goal is to add to the vitality of the neighborhood and to do so in a way that respects our neighbors, as well as the historic nature of the neighborhood,” he added.

The building is vacant, as Bethlehem has relocated the church to 250 Commerce Ave. SW.

616 Development bought the former church in September of last year for an undisclosed amount.

View Larger Map

The units

The apartments will be a mix of studios, one bedroom and two-bedroom units.

Some units will feature vaulted ceilings up to 11 feet high, with exposed, gothic wood trusses.

Some of the structure’s stained glass will be kept, while other sections will be removed and preserved, so the two levels of units going into the building’s former sanctuary can have clear windows.

The finished project will offer community and fitness rooms, and every apartment will have one on-site parking space.


Leases are expected to start at $800 a month for the studios, $1,000 a month for the one bedrooms and $1,450 a month for the two-bedroom apartments.

616 will begin pre-leasing in the late fall, and the first residents are expected to take occupancy in six months.

 “The adaptive reuse of this Heritage Hill treasure will bring new residents and tax revenue to our city, while preserving an architectural asset in the neighborhood,” said Mayor George Heartwell. “This is another example of our development community meeting the strong demand for high-quality housing in and around the Medical Mile and the downtown Grand Rapids area.”

Recent Articles by David Czurak

Editor's Picks

Comments powered by Disqus