GRAND RAPIDS — Hope Network has purchased the Fulton Manor property in Grand Rapids for $4.1 million with redevelopment plans that call for about 120 affordable housing units.
The property, located at 1450 E. Fulton St. in the city’s Eastown neighborhood, was acquired on Sept. 24 by Hillview Townhouses Inc., which is registered to Hope Network President and CEO Phil Weaver.
The facility was previously owned by Holland Home, a nonprofit providing end-of-life care and housing, since 1912.
Construction is tentatively planned to start on the $39 million project in the spring or summer of 2022, according to Hope Network officials. Hope Network selected Grand Rapids-based Pioneer Construction as the general contractor, and Grand Rapids-based DeStigter Architecture and Planning is serving as the project designer.
The development will include a “large number of affordable units to support people with limited income,” said Hope Network Chief Operating Officer Tim Becker. Plans previously filed with state housing officials call for 56 affordable housing units in the first phase with 62 additional units in the second phase. Hope Network currently has about 620 housing units for residents in need in greater Grand Rapids.
“This is an underserved population, so this is only a small dent of what we need in this community,” said Anthony Barker, Hope Network’s executive director of housing and community development.
Holland Home President and CEO Mina Breuker called the property sale a “milestone because of how long (Fulton Manor) has been in the Holland Home family, and it provided a lot of care and services over the years. We’re excited Hope Network will take it over because the legacy of serving and giving to others will continue.”
Barker also noted the property’s historic nature.
“There are not a lot of locations in the city that would serve this purpose and this building is also a historic property,” Barker said. “Part of our mission is to help people but we also want to be good stewards to the environment and this building has a lot of history to Holland Homes and we want to consider that legacy.”
The transaction between the two nonprofits has been in the works for several years, Brueker said. Holland Home residents were moved out of the facility at least four years ago to the nonprofit’s Breton Woods and Raybrook campuses when negotiations first started.
“This discontinues the monthly cost of running the building, which has been anywhere from $25,000 to $30,000 a month, so that is a huge savings,” Breuker said. “Then we will also be able to use the sale price for other projects and further serve the community.”
In recent years, the facility has been leased at-cost to various entities. Family Promise used building for emergency housing for families in need. The Kent County Health Department used the building as temporary shelter for residents experiencing homelessness who also contracted COVID-19, while the Kent County Sheriff’s Department has used the site for training purposes.
While the property sale was in the works prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Breuker said the process was slowed by the virus.
The pandemic delayed this year’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit funding allocation administered by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. Hope Network’s plan was one of six housing projects this summer to receive LIHTC funding, and was awarded $1.46 million for the construction of 118 units over two phases.
Hope Network, which provides a variety of health care and housing services for people with physical and mental disabilities, also recently purchased a 3-acre property at 805 Leonard St. NE on July 1 for more than $1.63 million from D.A. Blodgett-St. John’s. Hope Network now operates its behavioral health facility at the Leonard campus, where it will also provide an integrated primary care clinic and services for substance use disorders.
EDITOR’S NOTE: An executive at Hope Network mistakenly said the company had selected Rockford Construction as the general contractor on the Fulton Manor project. This story has been updated to note that the general contractor is instead Pioneer Contruction.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated with comments from Anthony Barker of Hope Network.