WYOMING — Developers of a $35 million housing project at the former Studio 28 movie theater property hope the development will be a catalyst for more activity in Wyoming.
Plans include transforming the property on 28th Street in Wyoming into a 226-apartment community called HŌM Flats at 28 West. Magnus Capital Partners of New York City purchased the 7-acre property in October after it had been vacant for nearly a decade.
“We’re excited about the location because (the city) has wanted growth and revitalization for years,” Vishal Arora, managing principal and founder at Magnus, told MiBiz. “This city has done a great job setting the stage for that growth.
“We’re excited to be the first catalyst and start bringing a lot of investment to this site, and it’s a sign of things to come as far as the growth of the 28th Street corridor.”
The project officially commenced on Thursday with its groundbreaking. Developers expect to begin pre-leasing units in winter 2020.
After the closing of Studio 28 in 2008, the city envisioned the 20-acre property becoming a walkable downtown district with businesses and residents. Wyoming Mayor Jack Poll hopes the influx of new residents will spark other businesses to locate nearby.
“This is just phase one,” he said. “There’s going to be additional growth. With that number of (residents), a lot of businesses are going to have an opportunity on some of the open lots to develop into very vibrant businesses.”
The West Michigan office of Colliers International marketed the movie theater property for the last few years, seeking a big box retailer. After finding little interest, the brokerage split the property into several smaller parcels, said Mark Ansara, a vice president at Colliers. There are three parcels left in the area adjacent to the housing development, excluding one parcel Magnus is in the process of purchasing for the second phase of its project.
HŌM Flats will include 226 units across six buildings in the first phase, comprised of 97 one-bedroom and 129 two-bedroom apartments, and adjacent 320 parking spaces.
Kentwood-based general contractor Rohde Construction Co. Inc. is working on the project, as well as Grand Rapids-based architecture firm Hooker DeJong Inc., Exxel Engineering Inc. and American Preferred Management.
The project was awarded low-income housing tax credits by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, and the apartments will be rented to people making 60 percent or more of the area median income.
“The missing middle, which we call the workforce, hasn’t really had new product,” Arora said. “We’re just trying to meet the demand.”