Economic Development, Nonprofits, and Real Estate

$9.4M urban affordable housing project begins

November 29, 2018
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Garfield Park Lofts partial rendering
A partial rendering of Garfield Park Lofts. Courtesy LINC UP

Construction has begun on a 36-unit affordable housing project in a Grand Rapids neighborhood.

The groundbreaking was last week for Garfield Park Lofts, at 100 Burton St. SE.

The new building will be in the place of a church that was demolished last month, after standing vacant in the Garfield Park neighborhood since 2014.

The three-story building will contain 34 two-bedroom units ranging from 885 to 1,100 square feet and two three-bedroom units, each 1,400 square feet.

Each apartment will contain a washer, dryer and dishwasher.

The $9.4-million project will be built to align with LEED Silver standards and include on-site parking and green space.

Sidewalk improvements along Burton Street SE are also planned to make the area more pedestrian-friendly.

All apartments are reserved for households earning 60 percent or less of the area median income, with 15 of the units available to households earning 30 percent or less.

The rents should be between $330 and $820 per month.

LINC Up, a Grand Rapids-based nonprofit, is the majority owner and co-developing the project with Dwelling Place, a Grand Rapids-based nonprofit, and Orion Real Estate Solutions, a part of Grand Rapids-based Orion Construction.

Isaac V. Norris & Associates is the architect on the project. Orion Construction is the project's contractor. PNC is providing financing.

The project was awarded $934,988 in low-income housing tax credits from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.

The Grand Rapids Housing Commission is providing eight project-based vouchers for the project.

Orion said a number of subcontractors on the project live or work in Garfield Park, and the firm has hired a strong minority presence for the project.

“In addition to solving an immediate need of providing workforce housing, this project will be a catalyst for continued revitalization between the first and third ward,” said Roger Rehkopf, president, Orion Construction.

“We’re activating a vacant site and breathing life into an area that will inspire the community and engage them in the project. That hopefully creates a sense of inclusion and pride that will set the tone for how Garfield Park Lofts will be perceived.”

This is the first multi-family construction project in more than 30 years in the Garfield Park neighborhood.

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