Developer proposes $16.7M mixed-income housing development in Grand Rapids


GRAND RAPIDS, MI — A Columbus, Ohio-based development company want to demolish a funeral home on Grand Rapids’ Northwest Side and build two, four-story apartment buildings for low- to moderate-income residents.

Craig Patterson, senior vice president of Woda Cooper Companies, said his firm plans to apply for state low-income housing tax credits to finance the two buildings at 585 Stocking Ave. NW and 601 Stocking Ave. NW.

The buildings would contain 58 apartments.

If financing is secured and all necessary approvals for the estimated $16.7 million project are received, Patterson said his company would demolish the Arsulowicz Brothers Mortuary building at 585 Stocking Ave. NW.

Stephen Arsulowicz, of Arsulowicz Brothers Mortuary, could not be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon. In addition to the Stocking location, the company has locations at 937 Michigan Ave. NE and 3535 Remembrance Rd. NW in Walker.

Patterson said the project is important because there is a shortage of affordable housing in Grand Rapids.

The development would provide housing for residents with a range of income levels.

Twenty-one of the units would be considered “permanent supportive housing,” and would be reserved for people experiencing homelessness or individuals with disabilities, Patterson said.

About half the units would be reserved for residents whose income does not exceed 80 percent of Kent County’s area median income. For a one-person household, that translates to an income of up to $44,960, according to the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. It translates to up to $51,360 for a two-person household.

He said the goal of the project is to provide housing to a range of residents, from those who are very low-income to those who are considered part of the “missing middle.”

That group includes residents who make less than the area median income but don’t qualify for housing assistance funds, such as Section 8 vouchers.

Monthly rental rates for the apartment range from $444 to $900 for a one-bedroom apartment, $535 to $1,075 for a two-bedroom, and $1,150 to $1,200 for a three-bedroom.

Patterson said his goal is to apply for the state low-income housing tax credit program in February. If the project is accepted and receives the tax credit, the soonest construction could start is likely spring of 2022.

The project is slated to go before the Grand Rapids Planning Commission for approval on Thursday, Oct. 8.

Woda Cooper is a for-profit company that specializes in the design, construction and management of affordable multi-family apartments, single family homes and senior communities. The company has developments in 15 states.

Woda Cooper is nearing completion of a 50-unit housing development in Grand Rapids, located at 745 Stocking Ave. NW, financed through the state’s low-income housing tax credit program.

Tenants are expected to move in by the end of the month, Patterson said.

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