LUDINGTON — A Grand Rapids developer and Lansing-based nonprofit investor Michigan Community Capital are hoping to turn a donated building into apartments in Ludington.
The companies will seek local and state approvals to redevelop the building at 801 N. Rowe Street in Ludington into 65 apartments. The 100-year-old building was donated by Ludington-based Change Parts Inc. owner Ron Sarto and his wife, Dawn Sarto.
If granted various zoning and financial approvals, the building will have studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. A small section of the ground floor could contain a commercial office or retail space. Once operational, Grand Rapids-based Third Coast Development LLC would manage the property.
“It’s a beautiful building that we think can be repurposed into a wonderful residential setting that will add to the value of the neighborhood,” Brad Rosely, partner at Third Coast, said in a statement. “We have a long way to go before we start doing any work, but we’re hopeful that our project plans will meet all local and state approvals.”
Another Grand Rapids-based firm, Lott3Metz Architecture LLC, is serving as the architect on the project.
The building on Rowe Street was previously used by Wolff Wire Corp.
The site had long been eyed for redevelopment. Ludington-based nonprofit Pennies from Heaven Foundation had been looking for potential developers to redevelop vacant space in the area into affordable housing options.
In 2018, the foundation along with the Mason County Economic Development Corp. assembled packages of potential redevelopment projects to improve the level of attainable housing in the community.
Third Coast and Michigan Community Capital, along with Pennies from Heaven, then began discussions with the Sartos. In July, the couple donated the building for the Lofts on Rowe project.
“Affordable housing is a huge problem right now in our community, and it’s tough to find human and financial resources to get projects done,” Ron Sarto said in a statement. “Dawn and I thought the donation would kick-start the idea that was presented to us, which is led by smart, creative and experienced people.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated to note Lott3Metz Architecture LLC’s involvement with the project.