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daniel nudnik

Metropolitan Park Apartments - Construction

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Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS -- A Midland development firm is hoping the state's Cool Cities initiative will help it build cool apartments in the city's new "Avenue of the Arts" district.

Metropolitan Park Apartments would be a 24-unit apartment complex along Ionia Avenue SW, across the street from Heartside Park and the Globe Apartments, said Mai Dong, a project manager for Brookstone Capital LLC.

The two- and three-bedroom apartments would be marketed to low- and moderate-income persons. Rents would be between $549 to $730 and target residents who work downtown in the service industry, she said.

Dong said they hope the $3.3 million project will qualify for $2.4 million in tax credits from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA).

The project qualifies for MSHDA tax credits because it is in the Avenue of the Arts, an area that has been designated by Gov. Jennifer Granholm's Cool Cities initiative -- a program aimed at luring young suburbanites back to older core cities.

On Tuesday, the City Commission approved a series of conditional property tax breaks. The 15-year abatement would allow the developer to pay 4 percent of its rental income in lieu of property taxes.

Metropolitan Park is the first Grand Rapids-based project for Brookstone. It has built similar projects in Kalamazoo and Ohio, Dong said.

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It's about time for some more affordable housing downtown! Developers make so much money on the high end residential units that the lower income residents get left out.

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Interesting! I hope they hold the design to high standards. I would assume this is new construction as I can't think of anything in that immediate area that could be rehabbed (I should say: hasn't been). Does anyone know if this is the lot South of the Globe Apartments?

I like mixed incomes as long as the building doesn't end up looking like a big cardboard box. :)

Joe

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Joe:

The site for the new South Downtown housing complex is indeed the lot just south of the Globe Apartments. It is supposed to be called something like "Metropolitan Commons". The design is cool BUT I'm irked that it is only THREE stories. HELLO - this parcel is not in height terrified East Grand Rapids!! I know it is a superb problem for downtown GR to now be headed toward a dearth of open land for new development, but that is precisely why ANY new developments ANYWHERE downtown (I don't care if it's Central Downtown, North Downtown or South Downtown) must be developed as highrises.

I think that in most cases of current downtown GR development, many developers still are stuck in the passe mentality of "well, this is just 'little' Grand Rapids so I don't want to look like a fool by designing something as big city-minded as a high rise". Heaven forbid that it not be small, unimpressive and made of brick, huh? Look at the first iteration of the Park Place Apartment/Condo tower being planned for the SUPER PRIME Fulton and Division intersection for example. Though it will sit at THE CENTER OF THE METROPOLITAN CARTESIAN AXES (the region's convergence of NW, NE, SW and SE), it was planned to only be TEN stories (and looked suspiciously like it should be in East anyway with its goofily conservative gilded house-like roof - UGH!!!).

Ironically, the Grand Rapids Historic Preservation Commission (which irks me almost as bad as the mentally challenged GR Planning Commission) mandated that the Art Deco Junior Achievement Building be incorporated into the plan for the tower. This resulted in the developer having to redesign the tower for a narrower profile and - VOILA!! - it will now be rising 14 STORIES above Division and Fulton. Not bad. I can deal with that. Now they just need to do a 20-30 story mixed-use tower (with a Key Tower/Chrysler Building sensibility) across the street at the former City Centre Ramp site.

Interesting! I hope they hold the design to high standards. I would assume this is new construction as I can't think of anything in that immediate area that could be rehabbed (I should say: hasn't been). Does anyone know if this is the lot South of the Globe Apartments?

I like mixed incomes as long as the building doesn't end up looking like a big cardboard box. :)

Joe

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Metro,

I agree. I saw the design and while it is not bad, It reminds me a lot of a low rise hotel you'd see in the suburbs. It seems that if you buy a lot downtown, it makes sense to build up as the cost of building additional stories is offset by the cost of the land. Plus, at that location, I would want my apartment to be ABOVE the Wealthy Street bridge, not at eye level.

I think that whatever gets built on the city center ramp will have to be large. Their optimal requirements include onsite parking, street level retail, office space and residential. To me, this sounds like atleast 15 stories to me. 50 if I had my wish ;)

Joe

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bums still hang out in that park down there with their beers and such....i see them on the benches with i go to purple east....to shop for clothes and bongs.

i know it all.

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That is fascinating news Mr. Knowitall. I will agree, Heartside park is nicely designed but there is a certain contingent that likes using it for housing and bathrooms. This neighborhood is very much in transition and I think in 5 years you will see families playing in the park, not old men urinating in it. ;)

Joe

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Any more info on this?

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS -- A Midland development firm is hoping the state's Cool Cities initiative will help it build cool apartments in the city's new "Avenue of the Arts" district.

Metropolitan Park Apartments would be a 24-unit apartment complex along Ionia Avenue SW, across the street from Heartside Park and the Globe Apartments, said Mai Dong, a project manager for Brookstone Capital LLC.

The two- and three-bedroom apartments would be marketed to low- and moderate-income persons. Rents would be between $549 to $730 and target residents who work downtown in the service industry, she said. 

Dong said they hope the $3.3 million project will qualify for $2.4 million in tax credits from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA).

The project qualifies for MSHDA tax credits because it is in the Avenue of the Arts, an area that has been designated by Gov. Jennifer Granholm's Cool Cities initiative -- a program aimed at luring young suburbanites back to older core cities.

On Tuesday, the City Commission approved a series of conditional property tax breaks. The 15-year abatement would allow the developer to pay 4 percent of its rental income in lieu of property taxes.

Metropolitan Park is the first Grand Rapids-based project for Brookstone. It has built similar projects in Kalamazoo and Ohio, Dong said.

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It's about time for some more affordable housing downtown!  Developers make so much money on the high end residential units that the lower income residents get left out.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Urban 'mixed income' residential is great but the projects need to make sense for the investor / lender too. OFten, the 'lower priced' units you mentioned do not generate enough revenue to justify the land acquisition costs are the same for high end as they are for low end. It needs to make sense at the end of the day.

Also, it is difficult to find a good mix if you put high and low end stuff in the same bldg, do you gear all the common area finishes and amenities toward the low end to save cost (and simultaneously screw up marketing on the high end) or gear it toward the high end (but without the benefit of addt'l rents cause you now have low end renters).

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Anybody been down in this area? Haven't heard a thing about this in a long time (it took a lot of searching to find this thread!) Anyway, I drove down Ionia this afternoon and there's a big fenced off area just south of the Globe and lots of construction equipment digging up the earth. Is this the Metropolitan Park Apartments? Anybody have info or renderings?

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Anybody been down in this area? Haven't heard a thing about this in a long time (it took a lot of searching to find this thread!) Anyway, I drove down Ionia this afternoon and there's a big fenced off area just south of the Globe and lots of construction equipment digging up the earth. Is this the Metropolitan Park Apartments? Anybody have info or renderings?

Not sure if it is the apartment building, but that is the sight that they were supposed to go on.

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Anybody been down in this area? Haven't heard a thing about this in a long time (it took a lot of searching to find this thread!) Anyway, I drove down Ionia this afternoon and there's a big fenced off area just south of the Globe and lots of construction equipment digging up the earth. Is this the Metropolitan Park Apartments? Anybody have info or renderings?

Here is the scoop. The developer had some issues with the soil...not exactly sure what it invovled. The soil issues caused a cost over run of about $400,000. This cost over run jeapordized the entire project. They were awarded the Tax Credit last May and had to have 10% expended by December 1st or they would loose the tax credit. Literally at the 11th hour they turned in their paper work to the State to complete their tax credit qualification process. In the latest round of Cool Cities tax credits, the developer applied for more funding and this project was pulled first. They will most likely get about another $400,000. I assume this will be used to handle the soil issue.

On a side note, it was this project last may, which knocked the Uptown Village project out of contention for funding last Spring.

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Here is the scoop. The developer had some issues with the soil...not exactly sure what it invovled. The soil issues caused a cost over run of about $400,000. This cost over run jeapordized the entire project. They were awarded the Tax Credit last May and had to have 10% expended by December 1st or they would loose the tax credit. Literally at the 11th hour they turned in their paper work to the State to complete their tax credit qualification process. In the latest round of Cool Cities tax credits, the developer applied for more funding and this project was pulled first. They will most likely get about another $400,000. I assume this will be used to handle the soil issue.

On a side note, it was this project last may, which knocked the Uptown Village project out of contention for funding last Spring.

Well, that sucked last spring, but i'm glad you're both getting to move forward now. :good:

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Probably the worst pano/patch/stitch/fudge job ever, but here ya go:

91064771_563f2ef65d_o.jpg

Developer is out of town for a week, got a call into Rohde :thumbsup:

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Probably the worst pano/patch/stitch/fudge job ever, but here ya go:

Developer is out of town for a week, got a call into Rohde :thumbsup:

Is the globe getting swallowed by a giant sinkhole? :rofl: ....

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Nice PBJ ^ :)

Here's the design for Metropolitan Park Apartments. I like it! Too bad it's only 4 stories, but I think it shakes things up a bit in Heartside, and it looks a lot like the previous plan for 240 Ionia.

91878966_73ad599210_b.jpg

Be kind, the designer may poke his head in here :whistling:

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Nice PBJ ^ :)

Here's the design for Metropolitan Park Apartments. I like it! Too bad it's only 4 stories, but I think it shakes things up a bit in Heartside, and it looks a lot like the previous plan for 240 Ionia.

91878966_73ad599210_b.jpg

Be kind, the designer may poke his head in here :whistling:

I like the use of different colors, but a little too modern for me. There isn't enough ornamentation and the windows are too small. Just not particularly exciting overall.

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