Two separate apartment complexes could bring 72 new combined rental units to the area, with a 60-unit development in Garfield Township and a 12-unit project in East Bay Township, both seeking approval. in the fall of the township town planning commissions.

M Brothers Northern LLC plans to construct two three-story buildings, each with 30 units, on a vacant 15.9-acre property behind the Baymont Inn between Hartman Roads and South Airport. A large majority of the site, or 9.5 acres, would be preserved as an undisturbed wetland, while the development would be located on approximately 4.5 acres of upland grassland behind the hotel. Half of the apartments would be one-bedroom units and the other half would be two-bedroom units, with 94 parking spaces and 20,000 square feet of open green space available. Each unit would have a patio or balcony and access to a tenant gathering space with a barbecue and picnic area, according to planning and engineering consultant Dusty Christensen of Mansfield Land Use Consultants. He said tenants would benefit from an “isolated” location set back from the highway to protect themselves from noise and largely surrounded by wooded wetlands that could not be developed.

The developers first presented the project in October to the Garfield Township Planning Commission for a concept review, an informal review of plans that allows commissioners to discuss a project and provide feedback beforehand. that the developers do come back with an official request. The development has now been formally submitted for township approval, with town planning commissioners agreeing in a recent meeting to schedule a public hearing on October 13 on the project. Christensen said the site was “an excellent property for the proposed use (…) He added:” We want to have households close to these things in the heart of the township … we are really trying to reach the climax. things that are supported by the master plan, but still allowed in this freeway commercial district under the zoning ordinance.

While most of the wetlands will be preserved at the site, M Brothers Northern LLC recently obtained a permit from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy (EGLE) to disturb a small pocket of wetlands as part of the construction process. . The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay opposed the disruption in a letter to planning commissioners, saying that while the organization “applauds” the developer’s protection of 9.5 acres of wetlands, “allow the filling wetlands and storing snow next to the wetland could impact water quality and set a dangerous precedent. Christensen said he would work with staff to fully address any concerns by the public hearing, but noted that the state has approved the plans, that the company’s snow storage capacity exceeds township’s requirements, and that all runoff from the development will be captured and stored underground to prevent runoff in wet areas.

Township planning director John Sych said he believed Marengo 31, as the development is called, offers a “neat location for some housing.” He encouraged developers to consider connecting to Miller Creek Nature Preserve and the nearby Grand Traverse Mall pedestrian network. “I think it’s a great project from a perspective of being able to eventually connect to the mall trailhead so you can take it right into downtown,” he said. The developers also plan to work with staff to finalize a parking plan ahead of next month’s hearing, as the current setup extends into a required setback area for the property.

In the Township of East Bay, a development team of Justin Mortier, Brad Hansen, Doug LaBelle and Bart LaBelle plan to build a 12 unit apartment complex called Beach View Haus Apartments at 1470 US-31 North between Quality Inn and Traverse City State Park. The 0.66 acre site currently has two tiny cabins on the property, which would be demolished to make way for a 12-unit apartment building. Mortier told East Bay Township Planning Commissioners last week that each unit would measure approximately 1,500 square feet, with three bedrooms and two bathrooms per apartment.

Planning commissioners asked if the developers have considered building smaller units and if the team plans to keep the units as apartments for the long term. Mortier, referring to the recent conversion of Trailside45 apartments to condominiums on Garfield Avenue, said his group had no plans to go that route. “We want to build them and own them as apartments for the next 20 years,” he said. “We are trying to have an impact on our community. We have a lot of employees here. This is a big problem for us. There isn’t a business in town that’s not understaffed right now, and one of those issues is housing. It’s our way of trying to fit a lot of things into a little envelope. Mortier said the three-bedroom units offered a “ton of versatility” to potential tenants, as they could house a family, a couple with an office, or three students or workers living together as roommates. “It’s a great choice for a lot of different options,” he said.

The town planning commissioners did not raise many objections during the conceptual review, although they did note that the plot is in a difficult and restricted space. So the board asked the development team to look at an access and maintenance agreement shared with the neighboring hotel for a ride between the two sites, pedestrian connectivity on the property, and discounts on the property. sidewalk on US-31. The project is expected to return for formal review at an upcoming meeting, with Mortier saying the team was eager to begin construction as soon as possible.

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