Government, Nonprofits, and Real Estate

State grants funds for affordable housing downtown

October 16, 2013
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Herkimer Construction
The $29 million expansion of the Herkimer Apartments is putting to work some of the neighborhood’s low- and very low-income residents.

A longtime provider of affordable housing in Grand Rapids is nearing completion of its most recent project, and the state has recently chipped in twice to help make it a reality.

Dwelling Place of Grand Rapids, which has made housing and community revitalization its top priority for the past 32 years, is finishing up its renovation of the Herkimer Apartments, at the former Herkimer Hotel at 323 S. Division.

The project has involved converting the Herkimer’s 122 small one bedroom and studio apartments into 55 larger one-bedroom units — and adding 67 one-bedroom apartments in a new building going up on the Herkimer’s parking lot along Commerce Avenue, between Bartlett and Goodrich streets.

The renovated Herkimer apartments are expected to be occupied this month, while the new units are likely to be available in January.

The state first awarded Dwelling Place a Community Revitalization Program grant of $293,659 for the project’s new construction. Then the state gave the renovation portion of the project another CRP grant for $305,157.

The renovation work is being done by the Herkimer Apartments Limited Dividend Housing Association Limited Partnership, which Dwelling Place is a partner in.

The Dwelling Place grants were part of seven awards the state announced.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. reported the Dwelling Place project will generate up to $17 million in total capital investment and create 18 jobs.

 “These new investments demonstrate that Michigan is proving to be a more attractive place to do business and create jobs and reinforce once again that Michigan is America’s Comeback State,” said Gov. Rick Snyder.

The city of Grand Rapids earlier awarded Dwelling Place a 35-year PILOT, a payment in lieu of taxes, worth $3.6 million for the affordable units.

Instead of paying the city property taxes, Dwelling Place will pay the city 4 percent of its annual rent income from those apartments.

Dwelling Place and the Herkimer Partnership have invested about $29 million into the project.

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