School transforms into $6M assisted living community


A rendering of the 40-unit Vista Springs assisted living community planned for Coit Ave. NE in Grand Rapids. Courtesy Wolverine Building Group

A property that once helped children through their early years is preparing to assist those living in their golden years.


Riverside Elementary School in Grand Rapids was constructed in 1954 to serve the Creston neighborhood, but the 36,681-square-foot building has been vacant since 2010, at 2420 Coit Ave. NE.

Grand Rapids-based Wolverine Building Group said last week that a $6-million phased project to turn the site into a Vista Springs senior housing and care community is underway, with plans to operate the community as a state-licensed Home for the Aged facility.

The renovation of the existing space is scheduled to be completed next January, and a 15,000-square-foot addition is scheduled to be finished next April.

Wolverine Building Group is the project’s contractor, and Richard Postema Associates in Wyoming is the project’s architect.

Senior community

The building will have 40 apartments comprised of studios and one- and two-bedroom units.

The Vista Springs community will offer residents various services, including concierge service, transportation, dining and entertainment options.

Neighborhood benefit

Wolverine Building Group said there’s also a plan to add several amenities at the property that offer entertainment and educational opportunities for the Creston neighborhood: a conference center, private meeting rooms and a community theater for films, seminars and stage productions.

The property has a "very popular neighborhood playground,” which will be relocated to the west side of the building to provide a more attractive and accessible site with new parking spaces.

Post-construction, Vista Springs will donate the land for the playground area to the city to ensure it will “forever remain a neighborhood amenity."

Vista Springs plans on the playground becoming more of a park with benches and other features that can be “enjoyed by all residents of the Creston neighborhood.” 

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