GRAND RAPIDS — Nonprofit disability service provider Hope Network is set to break ground this spring on a $40 million affordable housing project after overcoming pandemic- and financing-related delays.
After acquiring the historic Fulton Manor property in the city’s Eastown neighborhood for $4.1 million in 2021, Hope Network initially planned to start construction in the spring or summer of 2022.
However, Hope Network Chief Operating Officer Tim Becker said the COVID-19 pandemic and rising interest rates were the two primary drivers of the delay.
The pandemic “slowed down the process of getting environmental permits approved and historical site designations,” while interest rate increases “led Hope Network to re-evaluate financing options for the project,” Becker said.
Current plans call for a groundbreaking in late spring of this year, followed by an 18-month build-out and an opening in the fall of 2024.
The $40 million project calls for 118 affordable housing units to “support people with limited income,” as MiBiz previously reported. Grand Rapids-based Pioneer Construction serves as the general contractor, and Grand Rapids-based DeStigter Architecture and Planning is serving as the project designer.
Hope Network acquired the property in September 2021 from Holland Home, which had owned Fulton Manor since 1912. Holland Home residents were moved out of the facility more than five years ago to the nonprofit’s Breton Woods and Raybrook campuses after negotiations between the two nonprofits first started.
In recent years, the facility was leased at-cost to various entities and for different purposes, such as emergency housing, a temporary shelter and training for the Kent County Sheriff’s Office.
Hope Network has not used the facility since acquiring it more than a year ago “because it’s not currently suitable for public use,” Becker said.
Hope Network and Holland Home had been in discussions about the property sale for several years.
Mina Breuker, the former president and CEO of Holland Home, previously called the property sale a “milestone because of how long (Fulton Manor) has been in the Holland Home family, and it provided a lot of care and services over the years. We’re excited Hope Network will take it over because the legacy of serving and giving to others will continue.”
Hope Network previously secured $1.46 million in state Low Income Housing Tax Credits for project construction over two phases.
The organization has more than 600 housing units for residents in need in greater Grand Rapids. Hope Network provides a variety of health care and housing services for people with physical and mental disabilities.