Dominican Sisters transfer ownership of Motherhouse

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Under 3CPK's ownership, the Motherhouse, including the space occupied by Dominican Chapel/Marywood and Dominican Center, will be converted into a “state-of-the-art” senior community, which will provide affordable senior housing using low-income tax credits. Courtesy Dominican Sisters

The Dominican Sisters Grand Rapids reached an agreement with the PK Development Group and Third Coast Development (3CPK) to transfer ownership of the Motherhouse on Marywood Campus.

Under 3CPK’s ownership, the Motherhouse, including the space occupied by Dominican Chapel/Marywood and Dominican Center, will be converted into a “state-of-the-art” senior community, which will provide affordable senior housing using low-income tax credits.

“Our agreement with 3CPK honors the original intent for the Motherhouse, which was built not only as housing for the Sisters but as a place of mission and ministry,” said Sister Sandra Delgado, prioress for the Dominican Sisters. “Over the years, we have devoted space in the building to share our ministries with others, including Dominican Center at Marywood … as well as Dominican Chapel/Marywood, which is open to the public for worship and prayer.”

With an increasing number of older members, the Sisters recognize the Motherhouse no longer meets their needs and have made the decision to repurpose the building to provide housing for low-income seniors.

The Sisters will continue to live in other portions of the campus, including Aquinata Hall and the former Marywood Health Center building.

Plans for the redevelopment are not finalized and will not begin until approximately 18 months from now.

3CPK may decide to reserve space for a conference center that could house the Dominican Center. In that case, the Sisters are open to participating in that endeavor. The Sisters also may continue the operations of the Dominican Center on the Marywood campus or perhaps off-campus. Dominica Chapel/Marywood may close, and it is likely the public will be welcome to worship with the Sisters at one of the two other chapels on campus.

“We are honored to work with the Sisters and believe that the pristine beauty of the site is something that must be preserved,” said Brad Rosely, principal at Third Coast Development, who represented 3CPK. “We want to develop this senior community so that all parties involved will be proud, especially the Sisters, but also the immediate neighbors, new residents and the community in general.”

For over a century, the Dominican Sisters Grand Rapids staffed a parochial school system that flourished throughout Michigan and New Mexico and for nearly that long have called the 34-acre Marywood campus their home.

“While the composition of the property will change, neither our mission nor our ministries are tethered to the bricks and mortar of our buildings,” Delgado said. “This is an initial step with many additional decisions yet to be made. We cannot predict at this point what our ministries will look like but we look forward to all the new ways they will continue, including this next phase with 3CPK and the senior community they will build. We will be interested in continued work with them in the future.”

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