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Proposed 12 Weston office tower property sold to Ann Arbor developer; affordable housing planned MiBiz File Photo

Proposed 12 Weston office tower property sold to Ann Arbor developer; affordable housing planned

BY Friday, August 05, 2016 12:42pm

GRAND RAPIDS — Downtown real estate that was once planned for a high-end office tower has come under new ownership.

Ann Arbor-based housing developer LC Companies Inc. has placed under contract the property at the southwest corner of Weston Street and Division Avenue, according to a statement.

The site was once planned for the home of 12 Weston, a Class A office tower proposed by Secchia family development firm Sibsco LLC.

As MiBiz exclusively reported in May, the firm scrapped plans for the project citing a lack of interest from tenants. The site has sat vacant since 2014.

The would-be developers bought the site in 2014 for $200,000, according to public records. The records had not yet been updated to reflect the sale to LC Companies.

According to the statement released by Rockford Construction Company Inc., a development partner in the project and the owner of the real estate through a subsidiary, LC Companies plans to build income-restricted housing on the site.

The developer plans a five-story, 48-unit building targeted at a variety of income levels, according to LC Companies partner Bob Jacobson, who presented the scope of the project to the board of the Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority.

The building will also have ground floor commercial space and on-site parking.

The firm will apply for the state’s October allocation of Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) and expects approval in the following months, Jacobson said.

In the statement, Jacobson said the firm sees a demand for “quality, affordable housing” in downtown Grand Rapids.

LC Companies has developed two other affordable housing projects in the downtown area, the Baker Lofts and the Klingman Lofts. Jacobson told the DDA board that both buildings are full and maintain lengthy waiting lists.

“We always felt affordable housing could be a great use for the site, and market factors make it a stronger and viable option,” Rockford Construction CEO Mike VanGessel said in the statement. “We look forward to next steps with the Historic Preservation Commission to consider this project and create an important piece of architecture on a crucial downtown corridor.”

Editor's Note: This story has been updated with additional information after a presentation at a Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority meeting.

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