GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Lease applications are being accepted at an old Grand Rapids church that was repurposed into apartments.
Saint James Lutheran Church on the corner of Knapp Street and Sinclair Avenue NE, is now Cardinal Point Apartments. It and a neighboring apartment building that share a parking lot were developed by 111 Halo LLC.
“It’s nice that we don’t have to tear something down,” Rasa Lofley, a 111 Halo LLLC partner, said.
It would have been cheaper to bulldoze and build new, but the company decided to preserve a piece of the neighborhood with help of tax breaks from the city and state.
“This is fantastic. It’s really beautiful,” Sue Mencarelli, who attended the church as a child, said. “We had Christmas programs here and I used to go to Sunday school. I got a lot of memories here.”
One of her fondest memories was the stained-glass windows that lined the church.
“Every time I would come into the church, I used to love to look at the windows,” she said.
Lofley and Matthew Haines saw the neighborhood church for sale and felt compelled to save it. They transformed the building, built in 1930, into homes. The developers tried to keep as many original features as they could.
“We wanted to save the character, we wanted to save the glass and the arches because it’s a work of art,” Haines said. “I think it’s the philosophy of Michigan to repurpose what is useful and that’s what we are doing.”
>>App users: See photos from inside the apartment building.