GRAND HAVEN — Construction has started on a $12.4 million, 39-unit apartment complex on downtown Grand Haven property that for decades housed the Grand Haven Tribune.
Cherette Group LLC, a Grand Haven-based real estate development firm, is leading the Tribune Lofts project at 101 N. Third St. in downtown Grand Haven. The developer and local officials held a groundbreaking on Monday for the planned five-story, 47,203-square-foot building.
The Cherette Group purchased the former newspaper property in November 2020 for $750,000 from Paxton Media Group, which bought the newspaper in 2019 from Sandusky Newspapers. PMG also owns the Herald-Palladium in St. Joseph.
The Grand Haven project is owned by The Tribune Lofts LLC, which includes ownership interests by Cherette Group, Osteopathic Foundation of West Michigan and seven family trusts, according to documents provided by the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC).
The MEDC backed the project in late September with a $750,000 Michigan Community Revitalization Program grant. The project also received $305,000 in local brownfield tax increment financing.
According to an MEDC briefing memo, “the project would not proceed” without the $750,000 state grant after construction “costs had risen significantly” based on updated bids.
State officials supported the project because it will help revitalize a currently vacant parcel in the city’s downtown. Development plans include demolishing the existing building to make way for the five-story building with four stories of apartments and integrated parking on the ground level.
“This project is a high priority for the City of Grand Haven,” according to the MEDC briefing memo. “Housing of all types is in short supply in Ottawa County and this project will add year-round residential units in Grand Haven. The project will increase the density of the area and promote walkability by replacing the existing one-story vacant commercial building with a multi-story residential building. … The development contributes to a traditionally dense mixed-use area and includes multi-story elements.”
A Cherette Group representative was unavailable to comment today. CopperRock Construction Inc. serves as the general contractor on the project while Ghafari Associates LLC serves as the designer.
The Grand Haven Tribune operated from offices on the half-acre property from the 1940s through 2014, when operations ended there and the building was left vacant. The offices were demolished this summer. The newspaper is currently located at 700 Washington Ave.
Tribune Lofts plans to provide workforce housing rental rates for households earning 80-100 percent of the Ottawa County area median income, according to plans filed with the MEDC.