Real Estate and Small Business & Startups

Affordable housing firm buying downtown site

August 5, 2016
| By Pat Evans |
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Klingman Lofts affordable housing apartment
A look inside an apartment at the four-story Klingman Lofts, an 83 unit affordable housing apartment building in downtown Grand Rapids. Courtesy Rockford Construction

A downtown site previously slated for a new office development is being bought by an affordable housing firm.

Previously proposed as a new class A office building by the Secchia family holding company, SIBSCO LLC, and Rockford Construction CEO Mike VanGessel, 12 Weston St. SW, at Division Avenue S, is now under contract by Ann Arbor-based LC Companies, which is set “to buy” the site, according to Rockford Construction today.

"A great use"

When SIBSCO and VanGessel purchased the site in 2014, two dilapidated buildings occupied the property.

The site was cleared and a plan for a 12-story office tower was proposed.

The proposal was stalled in May, when SIBSCO partner Charlie Secchia told the Business Journal that alternate uses were being sought.

Following the exploratory process, Secchia and VanGessel determined LC Companies was the best option for site, as Rockford Construction and LC Companies have partnered in the past, including 170 units at Klingman and Baker lofts.

“We explored an office building and thank the Historic Preservation Commission for their work on that concept,” VanGessel said. “We always felt affordable housing could be a great use for the site, and market factors make it a stronger viable option.”

Affordable housing project

Led by Mike Jacobson and Bob Jacobson, LC Companies will apply for the October submission of Low Income Housing Tax Credits from the state for the project.

The project would include first-floor retail, on-site parking and an undetermined number of residential units.

More details will come as the project progresses.

“As downtown Grand Rapids continues to evolve, it’s important that we ensure that quality affordable housing is available,” Bob Jacobson said. 

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