GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - In just weeks, a massive apartment complex will open in downtown Grand Rapids with nearly 100 low-income units.
But even though one-third of the city's core has housing with an income-restricted cap, according to the Downtown Development Authority, more low-income housing is still needed.
"Everything is downtown now, so we wanted to experience being downtown," said Micah Foster, who lives in income-restricted housing.
The roof above Foster's apartment is determined by how much his family earns: $40,000 or less. But he enjoys his low-income living, even if others might think it's a bad thing.
"Overrun by homeless and high crime rates, and you have your kids down there, and I've got to say, we've had a fantastic experience," said Foster.
It's that experience others want in at an old building two blocks away. Baker Lofts opens later this month, but there's a waiting list.
"We're seeing a huge response," said Michael Jacobson of LC Consultants, developer on the project. "Probably had a couple hundred active applicants."
Baker Lofts at 40 Logan Street SW, which is set to open in May, is going in across the street from the new Grand Rapids Downtown Market, which is still under construction. The 87-unit apartment complex uses an old furniture factory's frame, but has plenty of new school appeal.
Jacobson said the demand for low-income downtown options like Baker Lofts is common.
"There are large numbers of people for whom they are just not housing opportunities, or to the extent they exist, those housing opportunities have waiting lists already," said Jacobson.
Dennis Sturtevandt runs the not-for-profit the Dwelling Place. He said that while a percentage of low-income residents are handicapped or former homeless, others include young professionals excited for downtown living.
"Waiters, waitresses, students, artists," he said.
Foster is one of the students. he goes to Grand Valley State University downtown and is living exactly where he wants to be.
Apply to live at Baker Lofts
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