The Grand Traverse County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA) approved just over $175,000 in grants Thursday for a HomeStretch development that will bring 10 new rental apartments to Carver Street. The apartments will be tied to specific tenant income levels for at least 20 years, although HomeStretch executive director Jon Stimson said the goal was to keep them that way in perpetuity, noting that his organization had no never converted any of its apartments into units at market price since. launched in 1996.
BRA Board members approved a grant totaling $175,431 for the HomeStretch project located at 1028 Carver Street. The site is currently home to a single-family home built in 1947 (pictured) that is ‘functionally obsolete’, making it eligible for brownfield funding, according to BRA Director Anne Jamieson-Urena An inspection revealed “multiple repairs and security upgrades that are not financially feasible for the home to be habitable,” according to HomeStretch’s request. “The infestation of rodents and former pets in the residence has left a foul odor inside. Weatherization efforts are not deemed appropriate. Neighborhood sentiment views the property as a blight on the community The proposed project will remove the habitation in its entirety and replace it with a professional and architecturally pleasing development while enhancing surrounding property values and promoting revitalization and stability.
HomeStretch plans to build a 10-unit development on the property, with apartments rented to people with incomes at or below 80% of the area’s median income level (AMI). Two units will be reserved for individuals with 30% AMI, three units each for individuals with 50 and 60% AMI, and two units for individuals with 80% AMI. To put that into context with rental costs, Stimson said a 100% AMI for a bachelor in Grand Traverse County equates to an annual income of $62,000. This would mean a maximum allowable rent of $1,550 per month, including utilities. However, Carver Street units would all be below this as tenants would be capped at 80% or less AMI. At an AMI level of 50%, for example, an individual would have an income of $31,000 and a maximum rent of $775 per month, including utilities, Stimson explained.
The BRA grant – which will cover activities such as demolition, site preparation, curbs and gutters, sidewalks and stormwater infrastructure – will help fill an existing funding gap of just over $600,000. $ for the project, which has a total development price of $2.5 million, according to Stimson. He said various other sources of funding have been applied to the project, including the Grand Traverse County Land Bank Authority donating half the property’s value and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority contributing an additional $600,000. “This site has been in the works for two years,” Stimson said, adding that “it’s all about fundraising” and the BRA grant brings HomeStretch “one step closer” to closing the gap. Stimson said the project is “ready to go” once the remaining funds are secured.
County Commissioner Ron Clous, who sits on the BRA’s board of directors, was the only one to vote “no” against the project. Although he didn’t explain his opposition, Clous asked Stimson about how long the apartments would remain under income restrictions. Stimson said the answer was at least 20 years under the terms of the deal, although he noted that HomeStretch had “never converted (units) at the market rate” since its launch in 1996. and planned to keep Carver Street’s income limited in perpetuity. “We’re here for the long haul,” he said. HomeStretch has other similar housing projects underway in the area, including Oakwood Townhomes on East Eighth Street, the Depot neighborhood near the intersection of Eighth and Woodmere, and Honor Village Apartments.
HomeStretch said it would work to ensure the project – which sits near the intersection of Garfield Avenue across from DeWeese Hardware on Carver – serves as a “buffer between commercial and residential use” in the neighborhood, mitigating the commercial impact on residents. The organization also plans to use an energy-efficient design, using Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS) from Holland, Michigan, for the building’s exterior envelope. “The foundation system is a shallow, super-insulated frost wall and an insulated concrete slab on the lower level,” according to HomeStretch. “By achieving less than two air exchanges per hour and using a super-insulated building envelope and design, utility costs will be reduced.” The project’s conversion from gas to all-electric is also “possible over the life of the building,” HomeStretch said.
According to HomeStretch, “the new buildings are architecturally correct for the neighborhood and will “replace a degraded structure with a new, low-profile structure, aligning with current setbacks and new infrastructure.” “the injection of additional residents increases the employee base, school attendance, local spending, much-needed affordable housing, and overall increases economic development. Close to Traverse Heights, Garfield Avenue Corridor, and Downtown -town of Traverse City, the new apartment complex will allow “10 households to meet most of their needs by walking and cycling, reducing pressure on the transportation and street network and helping to alleviate congestion “, according to HomeStretch.