Firm plans affordable housing for ex-church in Heritage Hill


Photo by Ehren Wynder

A group of developers are looking to turn an old church in Heritage Hill into affordable housing.

Madison Lofts LDHA, LLC, co owned by Brad Gruizinga, Nick Lovelace and Tom Ralston, plans to redevelop the former church at 200 Madison Ave. SE in Grand Rapids into an affordable housing building.

The group of developers acquired the building via auction last December.

The developers are proposing the construction of 22 apartments with a mix of one- and two-bedroom units. The structure is three stories and about 24,000 square feet.

The renovation would also include 18 parking spaces.

The units would target households averaging 60 percent of the area median income, said Kara Harrison, real estate development incentive associate at Colliers International West Michigan and a consultant on the project.

The property is located within the Heritage Hill Historic District, and the Grand Rapids Historic Preservation Board approved the church conversion to multi-family use at its March 20 public hearing.

The Grand Rapids Planning Department will review the site plan on March 28.

The developers are also pursuing low-income housing tax credits through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority at the beginning of April, Harrison said. If approved, they could begin renovations as early as September.

The previous owners of the property, Faith Ministries, had the building listed for sale for over two years before Madison Lofts acquired it. The sanctuary was built in the 1920s, and a west wing was added in the ‘50s.

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