GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Thursday afternoon to mark the official opening of the Klingman Lofts, which offers affordable housing for Grand Rapids residents.
The apartments at 400 Ionia Avenue SW near Wealthy Street are in the 118-year-old Klingman Building, which once housed a historic furniture company.
Tenants have been living in the building for a few months, but reaching that point wasn’t an easy process.
“The building found itself, after about 100 years, nearly sinking into the ground. There have been a lot of efforts to do something with it and we were able to come up with the method of preserving and saving it,” Michael Jacobson, a developer for the project, said.
After a $22 million renovation project completed by LC Companies and Rockford Construction, the building is now home to affordable housing for 83 families.
“There is an income limitation for those who are going to occupy units here and the rent is based on their income so that it doesn’t exceed a certain amount of their income and therefore tends to be extremely affordable,” Jacobson said.
Serena Miller lives in the building with her boyfriend and said there are a number of things that attracted them to the property.
“We were actually the first to move in. He [her boyfriend] actually found this place on Rent.com, and when he told me about it, I thought it was too good to be true because of all of the amenities with it and the rent,” Miller said. “So we actually applied in February and we were (number) 124 on the list and there’s 83 rooms, I think, so we didn’t think we were going to get in, so we were lucky. We love it. It’s absolutely amazing and it’s convenient with all the stores and schools around.”
There is also a retail space in the building. The project was aimed at helping establish a community that will continue to flourish.
“The (first floor) level that we are in now will someday be a restaurant. Certainly in proximity to the urban market is really great. The folks that are able to live here will be able to have jobs in the near area, probably a lot of them will be able to walk to work from here and it really supports, I think, retail activity and the future of this street and this neighborhood,” Mike Van Gessel, the CEO of Rockford Construction, said.
Officials said the building is full and they have 200 people on their waitlist.