The proposed project location in downtown Holland. The proposed project location in downtown Holland. COURTESY PHOTO

Dwelling Place plans 46-unit downtown Holland affordable housing project

BY Tuesday, April 12, 2022 12:08pm

HOLLAND — Nonprofit housing organization Dwelling Place is partnering with First United Methodist Church and Hope Church to develop a 46-unit, affordable apartment development in downtown Holland.

Dwelling Place leaders will present conceptual project plans today to the Holland Planning Commission. 

The proposed development at the corner of Tenth Street and Pine Avenue may need a zoning change or special use approval based on a recent overhaul of the city’s zoning codes, known as its new Unified Development Ordinance, said Chris Bennett, director of housing and community development at Dwelling Place. 

“There has never been a greater pinch on anybody who is making a working wage who might work in downtown Holland,” Bennett said. 

The housing market is generally tight, but several housing projects that are located around downtown Holland — including at 254 S. River Ave. — have failed in recent years. For these reasons, Hope Church and First United Methodist Church approached Dwelling Place about adding housing to some of their property in 2019, Bennett said.

After acquiring the property, Dwelling Place plans to construct one- and two-bedroom apartments on properties that are across the street from each other on Tenth Street and are currently owned by both churches. A purchase price has been negotiated with the two churches. 

The project would include two buildings on portions of property at the intersection of Pine Avenue and Tenth Street. Dwelling Place plans to submit an application in the October 2022 round of Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) funding through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, Bennett said. 

“I am concerned about where things are with how high construction prices are,” Bennett said. “But I think we can make this work, and there are possibly some other funding sources (other than LIHTC). Having two of the oldest churches downtown work with us and partner with us for this is so much more sustainable than when you come in and try to build something new on your own.”

Dwelling Place operates Midtown Village apartments at 372 S. River Ave., near the proposed project site. The two developments would be able to share a maintenance and management staff, Bennett said. 

Construction could start in 2023 if the development process goes as planned. Orion Construction will serve as the general contractor, and Destigter Architecture LLC is designing the project.

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