GRAND RAPIDS — To help curb fears of gentrification, a local nonprofit and an Ohio-based developer have partnered on an affordable housing development on the city’s southeast side.
Ohio-based MVAH Development LLC, a development, construction and property management firm, is working with LINC UP on the proposed Eastern Lofts at 623 Eastern Ave. SE. The two hope to secure Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) in the April funding round.
Jeremy DeRoo, executive director of LINC UP, told MiBiz the project is located near Grand Rapids’ Baxter neighborhood, where many residents have fears of increasing property taxes.
“We’re excited about pursuing the project because affordable housing has been expressed by residents as an important strategy to counteract gentrification,” he said.
The Grand Rapids City Commission in early March approved signing a payment in lieu of taxes agreement with the developers.
The proposed project involves the construction of a four-story building and three two-story structures to create a 70-unit affordable rental development, located on Eastern Avenue between Sherman Street and Thomas Street at the current site of Brother Love’s Towing LLC.
MVAH currently has an option to purchase the property, DeRoo said.
The four-story building will contain 60 units, a mix of 33 one-bedroom and 27 two-bedroom units. The three two-story buildings will provide a total of 10 four-bedroom townhomes. The project also includes 104 parking spaces, and 5,200 square feet of ground-floor commercial space.
All of the units will be available to households with incomes at or below 80 percent of the area median income.
Developers are seeking more than $14 million in capital contribution through LIHTC. The total estimated cost of the project is more than $17 million.
Eastern Lofts is the only project LINC UP plans to submit in the April funding round for LIHTC, according to DeRoo.
The nonprofit LINC UP also aims to start construction by this summer on West Garfield Apartments, which was awarded LIHTC funding in December, as MiBiz previously reported. The affordable development is located at Burton Street and Francis Avenue on the southeast side of Grand Rapids.
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