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The "Affordable Housing" Discussion in GR


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Here is a photo of this home, along with a graphic showing the floor plan.

 

917 sf 3-beds and a bath. It sold for $159,900. 
 

I should note this is a modular home, I believe built by Rochester Homes in Indiana. 
 

Our company has pretty much the exact same model as this and many like it.  While I personally feel that this is a great example of an “Affordable House,” it would never fit the City’s onerous requirements for development of “affordable housing” on one of the over 50 lots the City controls throughout GR. 

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I could spend hours replying to everyone’s comments here.  And I really do not want to rehash the same old arguments. This will be my last comment on the KCLBA The Kent County Land Bank Auth

Here are some photos of today’s installation on Sigsbee,  We staged on Madison in a large lot north of Dickinson. And hauled the home over to Sigsbee.  We started at 8 AM with the first of 4 boxes and

Walker, thanks for the encouragement.  One important point of clarification.  Any work done by the KCLBA/InnovaLaB out side of the County was/is being done by request of an in concert with the State L

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I know this has been discussed in other threads, and is not specific to Affordable housing, but ground floor apartments were approved for a lot of the city. Wonder if this will change what new developments look like now that commercial space requirements (that seem to sit empty) are removed. 

Wonder if we'll see a lot of recent developments retrofitted with ground floor living? Seems like there would be some significant changes that'd need to be made to make ground floor residential "comfortable" in some of these buildings. I could see Fulton Place, the Gateway (Belknap) project, etc. converting some commercial space to residential. 

Also found it odd that "most of 28th street" can have ground floor residential. 

https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/2021/01/grand-rapids-leaders-allow-ground-floor-apartments-in-nearly-half-of-citys-commercial-spaces.html

Joe

 

 

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21 hours ago, joeDowntown said:

Wonder if we'll see a lot of recent developments retrofitted with ground floor living? Seems like there would be some significant changes that'd need to be made to make ground floor residential "comfortable" in some of these buildings. I could see Fulton Place,

I doubt it applies to Fulton Place; 20ft of the ground floor facing an arterial does not qualify.  Not sure how much of the vacant ground floor is left over after that.

Gateway @ Belknap I believe just signed an office user for the ground floor; there was a SLU to permit office use filed.

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"""
Turkelson said allowing first-floor residential units in these areas will increase the amount of floor space available for housing in the city by 50%.""" ... 50% of what?  I do not understand that number.   Anyway, it seems like a very solid idea.
I look forward to the construction of some straight-forward four story apartment buildings.

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On 1/27/2021 at 4:48 PM, joeDowntown said:

I know this has been discussed in other threads, and is not specific to Affordable housing, but ground floor apartments were approved for a lot of the city. Wonder if this will change what new developments look like now that commercial space requirements (that seem to sit empty) are removed. 

Wonder if we'll see a lot of recent developments retrofitted with ground floor living? Seems like there would be some significant changes that'd need to be made to make ground floor residential "comfortable" in some of these buildings. I could see Fulton Place, the Gateway (Belknap) project, etc. converting some commercial space to residential. 

Also found it odd that "most of 28th street" can have ground floor residential. 

https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/2021/01/grand-rapids-leaders-allow-ground-floor-apartments-in-nearly-half-of-citys-commercial-spaces.html

Joe

 

 

It appears we have done a 180. From no residential on the ground floor to ground floor residential; on 28th St. Residential on 28th St ground floor makes no sense to me.

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11 hours ago, Raildude's dad said:

It appears we have done a 180. From no residential on the ground floor to ground floor residential; on 28th St. Residential on 28th St ground floor makes no sense to me.

Thought the same thing. I’d like to see what they envision for ground level living on 28th street. 

Joe
 

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18 hours ago, Raildude's dad said:

From no residential on the ground floor to ground floor residential; on 28th St. Residential on 28th St ground floor makes no sense to me

Does the  change do that?  I read it as allowing ground floor residential on the side and rear of the building; the front (20ft) remains commercial except by Special Land Use.  Practically speaking I suspect that will prevent a most strange ground floor residential.  Then Planning Commission can still say "no" to ground floor residential facing 28th St, for example.
It is always confusing when The Planners use the word "can", because that can mean By-Right or by SLU.

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ICCF is getting ready to move in to the old Grand Rapids Christian High School at Franklin and Madison.    Besides moving the HQ there, the building includes the home of the Madison Church, 40 new affordable apartment units,  and an early childhood learning center.    It turned our really nice, and will be a great anchor for the area.

Did anyone buy the ICCF building on Cherry?

 

 

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50 minutes ago, GR_Urbanist said:

I dont think the old ICCF has been bought. The For Sale sign is still very much out front.

But WOW that is a nice renovation! The ICCF definitely got an upgrade.

The investment company that purchased the old ICCF head quarters on Madison just south of this development purchased 920 Cherry and also sold ICCF back their old offices.  I believe they are running their main operations out of the new offices in these photos and their construction and maintenance is being run out of the old Firehouse on Madison south of Hall

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In the MIBiz article about this development, they said that it was sold on April 15th to Monarch Investments out of Ann Arbor. They don't mention what they have planned. 

ICCF has always done an impressive job when renovating buildings. It sounds like an awesome development all around. 

Joe

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On 6/2/2021 at 11:35 AM, ModSquad said:

The City of Oakland California gets it!

Wow; and in two years!  Rather than the 5 years so far that GR has been screwing around, with another 5 years before our leaders do anything.

The State of California has taken important steps to put its cities feet to the fire - - - Michigan, and probably everywhere, needs equivalent action.  Left to "Local Control" our leaders will study us into oblivion.

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On 8/15/2017 at 9:19 AM, GRDadof3 said:

The city of GR/Rosalynn Bliss nominated a 20 member Housing Advisory Committee to start addressing the issue. Some really good ideas came out of it, actually. 

Woah, that was 2017.

This committee did have some good ideas - but what a fizzle.

And the Housing NEXT needs analysis was over a year ago; watching them talk about getting to work on that issue is not amusing.  They even talk about taking "near term" actions.

https://urbangr.org/housingnext20200721COW

On 8/15/2017 at 10:22 PM, egrguy said:

Yes, the city is serious in enforcing their Airbnb rules.

What I've heard is that the city does next to nothing regarding enforcement.  I'm currently building out an apartlet in my basement, confident I can recoup the costs with some short-term leases.  One doesn't even need to Airbnb anymore;  I get contacted by people, often desperately, looking for somewhere to stay for 30-90 days between jobs or housing.

On 8/15/2017 at 9:31 PM, GR_Urbanist said:

What do we have to lose? We aren't talking about priceless architecture, especially on the west side

Oh, but that's "neighborhood character"; much of my neighborhood was the same character: dumpy, crumbling garages, aluminum siding.  Really stuff that must be saved at all costs!

On 8/18/2017 at 8:43 AM, GRDadof3 said:

Or you have landowners who are holding out with no desire to sell

I wonder if at current prices this is still true.  In my small neighborhood - 0.6sq/miles - we've very recently had three l-o-n-g vacant lots go up for sale.

On 8/18/2017 at 11:30 AM, demhem said:

Do we have any small-scale developers on this forum that could shed light on the small infill topic? Difficulties?

https://urbangr.org/BuildingADU535Shirley

They've made some of the rules worse since then.

https://urbangr.org/GRADURegs2018r2

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6 hours ago, Prankster said:

Ah yes, the increase traffic and decrease home value pushback. A time honored and golden standard of NIMBY arguments. 

If Riverhouse hasn't turned Bridge St. Into a parking lot, then I doubt some tiny homes are going to be full of Teslas driving in and out at all hours. And property values are not known to be perturbed by actual newer homes being built nearby.

And from a Google search of homes that size, they look pretty nice. If I didnt feel better with my parents being outside the city at their age, I would love for them to be able to live in a place like that!

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On 9/24/2021 at 3:46 PM, RegalTDP said:

Wow, what a traffic nightmare this will bring!  You might even need to install a stop sign or two to control the chaos.

There is a huge amount of information (renderings, plans new Bethany offices, house examples, etc) in the Planning commission packet.

Warning: These PDFs are huge, so I'd hope someone can open it up, and screenshot the interesting ones (I would but I'm late for a meeting): http://grandrapidscitymi.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=4713&Inline=True

Joe

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I don't remember these plans for Lexington School (still rummaging through planning commission documents):

The Project is a 39 unit combination of adaptive reuse and new construction on the west side of Grand Rapids at 45 Lexington Ave. NW. The existing building is currently vacant, formerly serving the area as a grade school. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 23 units will be contained within the existing building, and 16 units will be constructed in a newly built wing. The Project location offers many nearby amenities, just across the river from downtown Grand Rapids, down the street from Grand Valley State University, and one block north of a bus stop linking residents to all of these amenity-rich opportunities. The Project will contain both one and two bedroom units to serve senior (55+) residents in the area. Eight units will be leased to 30% AMI residents, Six at 40% AMI, and 13 at 60% AMI. The remainder of the units will serve residents at or below 80% AMI. A multi-purpose community space will be included on the first floor of this elevator building, offering the residents meeting space, a library, and computer availability. There will also be an on-site management office to serve the residents.

Not a fan of the addition colors, but oh well. :) It was approved.

Joe

 

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On 10/6/2021 at 5:01 PM, GR_Urbanist said:

Not gonna lie, that siteplan absolutely looks awful.  It looks the be one of the most un-urban things that has been built downtown in some time.

I'm hostly looking at the report again, and still not believing this.

Are you talking about the ICCF plan or the Bethany expansion?

For the ICCF project, I kinda like the facade, how it fronts Division, and that access to parking is in the rear from Sheldon.  And even with the greenspace it still leaves room for more on that block.  I'm not seeing what's so bad about it.

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21 hours ago, RegalTDP said:

Are you talking about the ICCF plan or the Bethany expansion?

For the ICCF project, I kinda like the facade, how it fronts Division, and that access to parking is in the rear from Sheldon.  And even with the greenspace it still leaves room for more on that block.  I'm not seeing what's so bad about it.

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At first it seemed strange but now that I've figured it out, it's not bad. It appears to run across the site like this.  They probably want it to front Sheldon too as there are plans to eventually develop those lots on the East side of Sheldon. 

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