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109 senior apartments planned for Dominican Sisters Marywood campus COURTESY PHOTO

109 senior apartments planned for Dominican Sisters Marywood campus

BY Wednesday, October 28, 2020 03:27pm

GRAND RAPIDS — Third Coast Development LLC and PK Development Group plan to convert part of the main building on the Dominican Sisters’ Marywood campus into 109 apartment units of affordable and market-rate senior housing. 

The Dominican Sisters-Grand Rapids reached an agreement during the summer with developers to transfer what is known as the Motherhouse at its 34-acre Marywood campus just east of Grand Rapids’ Fulton Heights neighborhood. 

The Dominican Sisters sought the partnership to help them maintain the property as a place of ministry, as well as giving it new life where people from the community could reside, according to a memo from Progressive AE Inc. 

The Grand Rapids City Planning Commission will consider a special land use application for the project at its Nov. 12 meeting. The proposal to turn the building into senior living apartments would be compatible with the aging population of the Dominican Sisters who reside on the property, according to the Progressive AE memo. 

The project proposes affordable housing for households earning between 30 to 80 percent area median income, as well as some market rate units. Adults 55 and older would be permitted to live in the units. 

The plan does not call for changes to the exterior of the Motherhouse, and it would continue as a mixed-use building that includes assembly space, offices and residential uses. Dormitory-style bedrooms and classrooms would be converted to apartments.

The Motherhouse currently has 76 dormitory units and 14 apartments. The proposed project would update the residential units by eliminating the dormitory rooms with shared bathrooms into studios and apartments, creating a total of 18 studio apartments, 76 one-bedroom units, and 15 two-bedroom units. 

The Sisters will continue to live in other parts of the campus, including Aquinata Hall, the former Marywood Health Center building and the Benincasa building. The site plan does not call for additional parking on the property, which contains about 350 spaces.

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