Economic Development, Nonprofits, and Real Estate

Nonprofit building West Side affordable housing project

November 1, 2018
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Harrison Park Apartments Grand Rapids partial rendering
Courtesy Progressive AE

A local nonprofit has broken ground on a $13.4-million affordable housing building on the city’s West Side.

Grand Rapids-based Dwelling Place started construction on the 45-unit Harrison Park Apartments this fall as a mixed-use development that will provide housing for households at or below 60 percent of area median Income.

The four-story building at 1400 Alpine Ave. NW will feature two- and three-bedroom apartments, between 858 and 1342 square feet. Residents will also have access to in-unit laundry.

Construction on Harrison Park Apartments is expected to be done in 14 months.

Twelve of the 45 units will be set aside for families who are survivors of domestic violence, supported with vouchers from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, or MSHDA.

Eleven units of the 45 units will come with project-based vouchers from the Grand Rapids Housing Commission for families making at or below 30 percent area median income.

Other features of the development will include three commercial live-work spaces meant to build economic activity along the Alpine corridor, as well as 900 square feet of community space and a community garden for residents and the surrounding community.

Firms on the project

Plainfield Township-based Progressive AE is the architect on the project.

Kentwood-based Wolverine Building Group is the project’s general contractor.

Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bank is a direct equity investor.

The Kent County Land Bank, which recently re-branded itself as InnovaLab, assisted in land assembly and enlisting the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, which cleaned up any site contamination ahead of construction.

Funding

The project was financed in large part through low-income housing tax credits, and over $1.5 million in local philanthropy is expected to fill most of the remaining gap.

The Grand Rapids Community Foundation, The Wege Foundation, Dyer Ives Foundation, MSHDA and one anonymous donor have all made contributions.

West Side need

“This development is, at its core, a collaboration of many answering a call from this neighborhood: a call to ensure that families who live on the West Side can remain here and benefit from the unprecedented investment happening here, to not only enjoy the new jobs and amenities that have come, but the Challenge Scholars investment in their kids,” said Dennis Sturtevant, CEO, Dwelling Place.

The Westside Collaborative, Grand Rapids Public Schools, Grand Rapids Community Foundation and West Grand Neighborhood Organization asked Dwelling Place and other housing nonprofits to focus on the West Side back in 2015.

Due to unprecedented growth on the West Side, the cost of housing was becoming too expensive for many long-standing residents.

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