Developer completes $11M housing project on West Side

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The 50 units at Seven45 Stocking are available for resident households earning 30% to 80% of area median income. Courtesy Woda Copper Companies

Woda Cooper Companies hosted a grand opening and ribbon cutting last week for its new Seven45 Stocking affordable housing development on Grand Rapids’ West Side.

Columbus, Ohio-based developer Woda Cooper Companies on Friday, Sept. 10, showcased its new apartment building with live/work options called Seven45 Stocking, named for its address at 745 Stocking Ave. NW in Grand Rapids.

At the ribbon-cutting event, a memorial tree was dedicated in honor of the late Stanley J. Wisinski, founding member, partner and broker at NAI Wisinski of West Michigan, who was instrumental in several West Michigan affordable developments, including Seven45 Stocking.

The new, $11 million Seven45 Stocking community has 50 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartment units. Three first-floor units offer an office suite or retail storefront attached to the living spaces.

The 50 units at Seven45 Stocking are available for resident households earning 30% to 80% of area median income. The apartments have open-concept living spaces with large energy-efficient windows, high-quality finishes, washer/dryer hookups and kitchens with Energy Star-rated appliances, including dishwashers. Each unit has a high-efficiency HVAC system. The property was certified LEED Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The three live/work spaces have been leased to three aspiring entrepreneurs. One resident operates a beauty bar offering esthetician services, with the other units occupied by entrepreneurs involved in digital marketing and business services.

“Seven45 Stocking replaced a vacant lot and building to create 50 new homes, with three of them being live/work units that allow people to pursue their goals of building a business,” said Annette Vandenberg, executive director of the West Grand Neighborhood Organization. “Further, Seven45 Stocking is walking distance to Stockbridge Elementary and located in the middle of the Stockbridge Business Corridor. Seven45 Stocking has spurred other businesses to improve their properties, and a new restaurant has just opened down the street, providing 30 new jobs in the area.”

The development features indoor and outdoor common areas such as a playground, park benches, fitness center, laundry, community room and manager’s office. There are five units with features for those with disabilities, and the entire property is accessible, thanks to a central elevator. At street level, there is spacious green space and off-street parking.

“Seven45 Stocking offers an affordable housing option in the West Side neighborhood, which is experiencing gentrification. The community is ideal for residents at a mix of incomes seeking appealing lifestyle amenities and the option of a live/work environment,” said Craig Patterson, Woda Cooper Companies’ senior vice president, development. “We appreciate Grand Rapids’ leaders who supported the vision and development of Seven45 Stocking. We also are grateful to our local subcontractors who helped us deliver a high-quality building and on time.”

The city of Grand Rapids provided support for the project, including a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) property tax exemption.

“These types of innovative developments address not just our housing crunch here in Grand Rapids but acknowledge the way the world is changing — including where and how we work,” said Mark Washington, Grand Rapids city manager. “Seven45 Stocking is a unique concept — one that could prove to be the future as the way we live and work evolves — and I’m encouraged by the prospect of what it’s bringing to our community.”

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) provided affordable housing tax credits for the new development.

“We are thrilled to partner with Woda Cooper Companies on Seven45 Stocking,” said Chad Benson, director of rental development for MSHDA. “These sustainable and affordable units in the vibrant West Side neighborhood are a place to call home and a place to pursue opportunities and business ventures for residents of various income levels.”

Equity financing for the new property was provided by affordable housing investor CREA LLC. Lender Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust provided the first mortgage. A construction loan was provided by Wells Fargo.

The project’s architect was PCI Design Group, with sustainability consulting by Sol Consulting + Design. Woda Cooper Companies’ construction division was the general contractor, and the company’s management division is overseeing leasing and day-to-day operations.

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