Construction, Nonprofits, and Real Estate

Nonprofit starting $18M urban affordable housing project

November 9, 2018
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ICCF Eastern Apartments Grand Rapids partial rendering
Courtesy Inner City Christian Federation

A nonprofit focused on affordable housing will break ground next week on two adjacent four-story affordable apartment buildings in town.

The Grand Rapids-based Inner City Christian Federation, or ICCF, said yesterday it will begin construction on Nov. 15 on the $18-million 501 Eastern Apartments, with the north building at 501 Eastern Ave. SE. and the south building at 525 Eastern Ave. SE.

ICCF anticipates the apartments will be ready for leasing at the end of 2019.

Totaling 70,792 square feet, the north building will be 37,246 square feet, and the south building will be 33,546, both aiming for a LEED Silver certification.

The buildings will contain 61 affordable units and four market-rate units, with rear parking for residents.

In partnership with Grand Rapids-based Bethany Christian Services, the development will offer 17 permanent affordable housing units for homeless youth, ages 18-24, along with services to help them successfully transition into independent living.

The first floor will include working spaces and a community and kids space.

“ICCF has been working to provide affordable housing in the Baxter neighborhood for the last 45 years,” said Ryan VerWys, president and CEO, ICCF. “In recent years, as we’ve seen rapid rent and home price increases, we’ve stepped up our commitment to creating and preserving housing in the neighborhood that is affordable to low-income neighbors.”

ICCF worked with the Baltimore-based real estate consulting firm Chesapeake Community Advisors on the project.

The architect on the project is Grand Rapids-based DeStigter Architecture & Planning.

Grand Rapids-based Rockford Construction is the project’s contractor.

Funding comes from Michigan State Housing Development Authority low-income housing tax credits, Love Funding, Insite Capital/Chemical Bank, HUD, Grand Rapids Housing Commission, City of Grand Rapids Community Development Department, Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis, Herman Miller Cares, Restoration Row and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.


Active in the Grand Rapids area since 1974, ICCF serves more than 2,200 households each year.

Program offerings include the Family Haven emergency shelter, 439 units of affordable rental housing, newly constructed homes for purchase, homeownership education and financial counseling.

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