DETROIT – Rehabilitating two vacant apartment buildings will add dozens of units to a Northwest Detroit neighborhood.
“Twelve years ago, we probably had maybe 15% vacancy right here,” said Vicki Holmes, who lives in Minock Park and serves as the president of the Minock Park Block Association. What our houses were worth was minimal. Now, as soon as the house goes up, it’s sold.
It is among five neighborhoods in the Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation (GRDC).”
The Grandmont Rosedale Collective II apartments will be home to 35 affordable housing units near West Outer Drive and Grand River Avenue.
The rental rates will be 60% or less of the area’s median income, which is about $838 a month for a one-bedroom apartment, according to backers of the development.
The apartments are supposed to stay affordable for at least 30 years.
“I believed if we succeeded, we would take the vacant apartment buildings in this city–many of which have been vacant many years–and you’d start to see people want to live in those apartments,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.
Cinnaire Equity put $4.6 million toward the project, and $1 million came from the Strategic Neighborhood Fund and HUD HOME grants. The Rosedale Development Corporation and ARPA funds also contributed money.
In total, the development is expected to cost $9.7 million.
“It’s about people in (the) community,” said State Rep. Stephanie Young, D-16. “Not just the buildings, but the people who live in the buildings.”
Amy Hovey, executive director of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, said that there was a shortage of 190,000 units in the state.
“Preserving these buildings and creating affordable housing is important,” said Hovey. “We’re in a housing crisis in our state right now.”
Robert LaBute, associate broker and owner of R.E.M.S., which is located on Grand River Avenue in Detroit’s Rosedale Park, said people are weighing their options as housing costs have increased across the board over the past several years.
“Rents have gone up five, six, seven, eight percent, said LaBute. “So, with the increase in the rentals, now people are seeing the desire to buy. The city has a lot of homes in their inventory with the land bank, but we’re starting to see people buy them and restore them to live in them–not so much even flipping them.”
LeBute said Rosedale Park was seeing an influx of young adults, particularly millennials.
“There are neighborhoods within the city that have so much character, are so unique, [and] are built from the ‘20s and ‘30s,” LaBute said. “You can’t find that workmanship. You can’t find that quality. You can’t experience that unless you go to older towns. Younger people go ‘That’s what we want. We want that original. We want those old brass knobs.’”
LeBute supplied a list of 18 homes sold in Rosedale Park since late February, which have sold at a median price of $226,500. Several of the homes sold for $300,000 or more.
“Not very many areas have these community centers that offer activities, theater, theatrical performances, and Rosedale is one of them,” LeBute said.
The project is expected to be finished and move-in-ready by June 2024.