GRAND RAPIDS — A development partnership wants to convert the massive former Display Pack Inc. building at 1340 Monroe Ave. NW into a 310-unit affordable housing project.
Third Coast Development LLC of Grand Rapids and PK Companies LLC of Okemos, working as Grand Monroe LDHA LP, have applied for $1.5 million in low-income housing tax credits for the more than $20 million project.
“We think it’s a very transitional project,” said Jacob Horner, vice president of development for PK Companies. “The area, we think, is really ripe for turnover.”
The partners want to transform the five-story former industrial facility into housing and redevelop a pair of two-story structures with retail and commercial space, according to plans submitted to the city.
Those plans call for 100 rent-restricted rental units, comprised of 30 one-bedroom, 62 two-bedroom and eight three-bedroom units. The rent-restricted units will be available to households with incomes at or below 80 percent of the area median income.
The developers also are proposing 198 mixed-income rental units — 133 one-bedroom, 59 two-bedroom and six three-bedroom units — and a total of 8,500 square feet of retail/commercial space, including 12 live/work units.
Initial plans also include more than 250 parking spaces.
Both Horner and Brad Rosely, principal at Third Coast, said the project is similar to the recently finished Diamond Place on Michigan Street NE that the two companies completed together.
“The building is in great shape; it sets up really well for a mixed-use, mixed-income project, right along the lines of Diamond Place,” Rosely said. He added the restoration of the Grand River rapids is another asset to this location.
The Grand Rapids City Commission approved a payment in lieu of taxes agreement for the project. The developers submitted an application in the April funding round to the Michigan State Housing Development Authority for Low Income Housing Tax Credits, MSHDA confirmed.
Horner said affordable housing in this area could be transformational in the neighborhood.
“(It would be) a development that is not just taking a building that’s underutilized, but creating a development folks in the neighborhood can embrace, afford to live in and be proud of, and be a catalyst for some other development in that area,” he said.
The 370,000-square-foot vacant industrial building dates back more than 100 years and sits on an eight-acre parcel on the east side of Monroe Avenue, just north of Leonard Street.
The property is owned by a subsidiary of Grand Rapids-based real estate firm Franklin Partners, which put it on the market in 2018, as MiBiz previously reported.
The company purchased the property in 2015 for just more than $7 million.