$6.1M in ‘RAP’ funds allocated to housing

Grand Rapids reaps rewards from Michigan Economic Development Corporation
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An artist's rendering of one possible housing project that will be covered by a new MEDC RAP grant. Art courtesy of City of Grand Rapids.

Five housing developments across the city of Grand Rapids will benefit from more than $6.1 million awarded through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s second round of the Revitalization and Placemaking Program (RAP 2.0). The funds are for affordable rental and owner-occupied units.

A statement released by the city of Grand Rapids states that the grant will support:

  • five projects across all three Wards of the City
  • result in 79 new housing units
    • At least 52 will be available to households earning at or below 80% of the AMI
    • 27 homeownership opportunities
    • 52 rental units
  • two projects proposed by first-time developers
  • $25 million of project development

The City’s Economic Development Department submitted the application to the State for funding following a call for proposals for qualifying and competitive projects that were consistent with the RAP 2.0 guidelines and priorities, were shovel ready, and providing housing with a priority for affordable housing.

“…This state funding is closing gaps on a significant number of housing units critical to our community.”

-Deputy City Manager Kate Berens

A City committee reviewed the 11 proposals received and selected the five community projects that best met the requirements. Economic Development then worked with the applicants and various City departments to complete and submit the competitive application.

Deputy City Manager Kate Berens expressed her appreciation to the Economic Development staff and community partners for, “putting together such a competitive and compelling grant application. The City was fortunate to receive 100% of what we were seeking. Together with RAP 1.0, this state funding is closing gaps on a significant number of housing units critical to our community.”

RAP 2.0 limited the available awards to $13 million for all of Prosperity Region 4. In its application for RAP 1.0 funds in 2022, the City requested approximately $13.6 million and was ultimately awarded $9.4 million for six project subgrants.

Grand Rapids Acting Economic Development Director Jono Klooster said, “This is obviously great news for the City and the result of a well-designed approach to our application, and collaboration both internally and externally.  We’re grateful for the MEDC’s support which is absolutely critical in this environment, and we look forward to working with the applicants to move these projects forward quickly.”

The five projects that were submitted in the City’s RAP 2.0 application include:

  • $500,000 for The Emory – The grant will support the renovation of the second floor of the building located at 2040 Division Avenue S. and will result in affordable rental housing to compliment the planned first floor artistic space. The $2,635,500 project is under development by The Diatribe, Inc.
  • $960,000 for Benjamin Flats – The grant will support the first phase of what is planned to be a multi-phase development at 916 Benjamin Avenue NE.  The first phase will provide 16 rental housing units for households earning approximately 70-80% of the area median income (AMI). The $3,651,027 project is under development by Third Coast Development LLC.
  • $1,890,000 for Seymour Condominiums – The grant will support the redevelopment of the existing building and result in 27 condominiums available for home ownership.  Plans call for 14 units to be sold to households earning at or below 80% AMI, and 13 units to households earning between 80-120% AMI. The $10,872,048 project is under development by ICCF Community Homes.
  • $1,720,000 for Southtown Lofts – The grant will support demolition of the existing building, and construction of a new, four-story structure with first floor office, and 12 rental apartments on the upper floors for households earning at or below 60-80% AMI. The $4,114,290 project at 640 Eastern AVE SE is under development by Larlen Communications Inc., the existing owner and operator of the building.
  • $1,059,256 for 2017 Eastern – The grant will support renovation of the existing building located at 2017 Eastern Avenue SE, retaining the USPS as a commercial tenant, and adding 16 rental apartments in what is currently vacant space.  The apartments will target households with incomes ranging from 45-100% AMI. The $3,661,883 project is under development by Apposite Properties LLC.

 

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