Magnus Capital Partners is proposing a 240-unit affordable housing complex along Lake Michigan Drive in Grand Rapids. Magnus Capital Partners is proposing a 240-unit affordable housing complex along Lake Michigan Drive in Grand Rapids. COURTESY RENDERING

NYC developer plans 240-unit affordable housing complex in Grand Rapids

BY Thursday, May 28, 2020 06:02pm

GRAND RAPIDS — A New York City-based developer has proposed a 240-unit affordable housing complex along Lake Michigan Drive on the city’s west side. 

The Grand Rapids Planning Commission on Thursday granted conceptual approval to preliminary plans for the HŌM Flats apartment development proposed by Magnus Capital Partners of New York City. The commission also allowed a major amendment to an approved planned redevelopment district to greenlight multi-family housing on the site, which was initially designated for the development of 24 single-family homes. 

Subject to final site plan approval, the development will consist of five, four-story buildings located at 3059 Lake Michigan Drive NW. The developer plans to apply for the competitive Low Income Housing Tax Credits for all 240 units included in the development, said Vishal Arora, managing principal with Magnus Capital Partners.

“Our goal is providing high quality workforce housing,” Arora said during the Thursday planning commission meeting.

One of the stops for the Laker Line, a 13-mile bus rapid transit route from downtown Grand Rapids to Grand Valley State University’s Allendale campus, is located at Lake Michigan Drive and Maynard Avenue, which borders the site.

Magnus Capital Partners intends to purchase a little more than 12 acres of undeveloped land within an 18-acre parcel to build the apartment complex. The 12 acres is an irregular shape with frontage on Maynard Avenue. The rest of the parcel houses the Lincoln Square retirement home.

Previously, the land had been used as an orchard, said Elizabeth Zeller, senior planner with the City of Grand Rapids. Despite some neighbors’ concerns, the site contains no designated wetlands, Zeller added.

“Our intent is to maintain and preserve as much of the landscape as possible,” Arora said of the company’s site plans.

Some commissioners and a couple of people who called into the virtual planning commission meeting during public comment expressed concern about losing vegetation on the property, and the development’s close proximity to Lincoln Square and residential communities to the north and east.

Commissioners stressed the importance of the developer complying with at least the required 20-foot buffer. Arora said the company would “do our best to accommodate as much of a buffer as we can.” 

The apartments will be pet-friendly with amenities including a dog park on site, walking paths and a fitness center, according to the preliminary plan overview. Units will consist of 40 one-bedroom units, 102 two-bedroom units, and 98 three-bedroom units.

Magnus Capital Partners has apartment complexes across the country and several developments in the works in West Michigan, including in Holland and at the former Studio 28 site in Wyoming, as MiBiz previously reported.

The Wyoming project includes 226 units across six buildings in the first phase, comprising 97 one-bedroom and 129 two-bedroom apartments, and adjacent 320 parking spaces. The project was awarded low-income housing tax credits by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, and the developer at the time said apartments will be rented to people making 60 percent or more of the area median income.

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