GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A house in Grand Rapids’ Heritage Hill has moved.
The home at 406 Lafayette Ave. near Wealthy Street didn’t move far, moving across a lot to 415 Prospect. It’s part of a development planned for the site that will bring townhomes and commercial space, Ryan Schmidt, a partner at Indigo Design and Development, explained.
The property along Wealthy Street was originally six parcels with two existing historic homes. Between the six parcels were two different zoning districts.
Schmidt, who has been working on the project with his partners for more than a year, said they knew going into it developing the property would be a long and complicated process, but it will be worth it. The project went through several layers of approval, from the neighborhood, the Grand Rapids Planning Commission and the City Commission.
Because the 406 Lafayette Ave. home is in a historic district, crews couldn’t tear it down.
“There are tight restrictions on what can and cannot be done with historic structures to make sure they’re preserved for the future,” Schmidt explained.
So the team got the approval to move the home over to the other side of the property. The move is better for zoning purposes, and situates the rest of the project better in the neighborhood.
A mixed-use building, which will have six housing units and a 2,000 square-foot commercial space, will front along Wealthy Street near Lafayette Avenue. Throughout the property, there will be 14 townhomes with condo ownership and a stand-alone commercial building next door.
The house that moved, now at 415 Prospect, and its neighbor at 409 Prospect, will be renovated from duplexes back to single-family homes.
The process of moving the house went smoothly, Schmidt said. They worked with Rollaway Movers, a company he said is very experienced in moving homes. Crews simply lifted the home and put it onto a flatbed truck before driving it over to its new location.
Schmidt said it helped that the house could just be moved across the site and didn’t have to be taken onto the street.
While things like some plaster cracking were to be expected, Schmidt said the house stayed stable throughout the move.
Since the move, several people have been curious about the project.
“It’s constant and it’s fun. It’s really exciting for us and we welcome the opportunity to speak with neighbors about it. It’s not something that you see every day, so it catches someone’s eyes,” Schmidt said. Right before speaking with News 8, he added, “there was someone parked on the street behind us taking photos and asking questions because it’s just uncommon to see a house up in the air.”
The house is now in its new spot, suspended over the ground with cribbing. Crews are working on building its new foundation and basement before it can be set down.
After, interior renovations will continue. It’s expected to be ready for a new family in late 2024.
The rest of the project will be done in phases. The moved home’s neighbor is expected to be done with renovations by late spring or early summer of next year.
There won’t be visible progress for the next several months as crews work on underground work like utilities, but they’re expected to start constructing the townhomes next spring.
The neighborhood is familiar to the three developers. Schmidt said one of the partners, Art of the Table owners Steve and Amy Ruis, have “deep Wealthy Street connections.” Schmidt himself and the project’s other partner live in the neighborhood. They’re excited to bring new businesses to the area.
While there’s no official marketing for the two commercial spaces yet, Schmidt said two groups have already shown interest.
“Wealthy Street (is) a great place to have your business located on and this will be in brand new construction, a beautiful building,” he said. “So we’re not at the point yet where we can commit to price and schedule because we’re obviously just at the start of it, but we’re excited to bring two more businesses to Wealthy Street.”
They’re also not ready to put out information on condo ownership, but Schmidt said the team will start marketing those this winter or spring.
“Stay tuned for more,” he said.