Apts. for middle-class renters planned in Grand Rapids

Third Coast Development working on apartment building on Michigan Street

637 Michigan Street, apartments, Third Coast Development
Third Coast Development is proposing putting in apartments aimed at middle-class renters on Michigan Street near the Medical Mile in Grand Rapids. (Nov. 20, 2016)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — There is no lack of new apartments in Grand Rapids, with luxury apartments and low-income places available to rent. But for years, downtown housing for the middle class has been missing. 24 Hour News 8 is learning about plans to change that.

If all goes to plan, the first apartment building near downtown dedicated to middle-income clients (those who make between $30,000 and $50,000 per year) will be ready for renters to move into this time next year.

Third Coast Development is behind the planned apartments at 637 Michigan Street, east of Union Avenue and the Medical Mile. The site is currently occupied by three old houses.

“I’m very excited about this,” said Max Benedict, a principal developer at Third Coast. “I think that we’ve got a great formula between design, between the city getting behind the idea of it and I think we’ve got a lot of energy behind it, so I think that this is just the beginning.”

The building will have 44 units, which will include studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments with granite and chrome finishes. They will start at $800 per month and go up to $1,250 per month for a two-bedroom.

“Our two-bedroom units are going to be less than a typical market rate one0bedroom unit,” Benedict said, adding that a market-rate one-bedroom rents for about $1,300.

The cost savings comes from smart use of space.

“Really utilizing vertical space. Each unit, for example, will basically come with a step stool because we’re going to have spaces for that Crock-Pot that you only use once a year, well, that’s going to be out of reach,” Benedict said.

City and state incentives are also making the project possible. Third Coast says the Michigan Magnet Fund — a state incentive that provides a lower interest loan for equity — was the game changer.

The company is still waiting for the incentive to come through and is working on getting a building permit.

If you are interested in renting or learning more, contact Third Coast Development.