GVSU lot in Grand Rapids soon becoming affordable housing complex

Grand Rapids

A courtesy image provided by Grand Valley State University shows a 2018 conceptual design of the Belknap Housing Project.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — An affordable housing project years in the making will soon take shape in Grand Rapids’ Belknap Lookout neighborhood.

Construction on a new housing development on Grand Valley State University land is expected to start this summer. Developers requested a permit to build the LEED Silver certified complex last week, city records show.

GVSU has teamed up with Third Coast Development and PK Housing and Management for the project. GVSU’s Board of Trustees signed off on the collaboration three years ago by approving plans to lease about .85 acres on the corner of Lafayette Avenue and Trowbridge Street NE for the project.

Third Coast Development will replace the parking lot at 546 Lafayette Ave. NE with a three-story housing complex containing 35 one-bedroom apartments, 13 two-bedroom apartments and 2 three-bedroom apartments, according to GVSU. Approximately 80% of the units are expected to be affordable housing; the rest are slated for market rate pricing.

GVSU spokeswoman Dottie Barnes says the new parking structure at 335 Michigan Street NE will offset the parking spaces lost on the site.

Third Coast will fund construction; PK Housing and Management will manage the property.

Barnes says the project is part of the university’s commitment to the neighborhood. Feedback from the Neighbors of Belknap Lookout and the city of Grand Rapids played a role in the building’s design.

If all goes well, the first tenant is expected to move into the new apartment complex next spring.

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