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Developer breaks ground on west side Grand Rapids affordable housing project COURTESY RENDERING

Developer breaks ground on west side Grand Rapids affordable housing project

BY Friday, November 22, 2019 12:31pm

GRAND RAPIDS — A Wisconsin developer has started construction on a new affordable housing development on Grand Rapids’ northwest side.

Commonwealth Development Corp. broke ground on Edge Flats on Seward avenue between California and Veto streets, where seven parcels were combined to create the lot for the apartment building.

The $9 million, 34-unit building was awarded $812,627 in low-income housing tax credits from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority in the October 2018 funding round. The project will serve people earning 30-80 percent of the area median income. It will feature 14 one-bedroom and 22 two-bedroom units.

“We just want to see that affordable housing remains, so existing tenants and residents in that area can still live there affordably,” said Jonathan Nesburg, vice president of development at Commonwealth, which focuses on affordable and workforce housing.

The site was ideal for multifamily housing because of its walkability and proximity to amenities like Bridge Street Market, Nesberg said. The property is next to Grand Valley State University, but the apartments will not be marketed toward students, and students are mostly unable to rent them because of stipulations in the LIHTC program.

The site has been planned for development for years, when the previous owner Jeff Boorsma razed seven homes for a high-density residential development that never came to fruition. Commonwealth purchased the properties from Boorsma in October.

Commonwealth Construction Corp., a branch of Commonwealth Development, will serve as the construction manager on the project, which will be managed by Commonwealth Management. Wisconsin-based Excel Engineering Inc. is the architect.

Commonwealth aims to complete the project and begin leasing in October 2020.

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