Joint plan would add immigrant services, affordable housing to Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids

A site map shows the proposed developments by Bethany Christian Services and Dwelling Place on Burton Street and Union Avenue SE in Grand Rapids.

Editor’s note: The planning commission was initially scheduled to take up the proposals during its Oct. 14 meeting, but a spokesperson for Bethany Christian Services told News 8 Tuesday the presentation has been rescheduled for Nov. 11.


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Bethany Christian Services and Dwelling Place are teaming up to grow in Grand Rapids.

Next month, the Grand Rapids Planning Commission will consider a rezoning request that would help clear the way for Bethany Christian Services to build a new four-story building at 670 Burton Street SE.

“The hope is to create a welcoming space where newly arrived refugees and immigrants will find the support and services they need,” the organization explained in its proposal submitted to planning commissioners.

The top three floors of the new building would be used for organizational offices, while the ground floor would be dedicated to client meeting spaces and programming, like English language classes and job training.

The 9,100-square-foot facility would connect to the group’s existing facilities on site and have a similar appearance. The plans also call for a parking lot with about 95 spaces and a storage and maintenance facility.

(A conceptual rendering by The Architecture Group Inc. shows Bethany Christian Services’ proposed connector building.)

The planning commission will also consider a rezoning request by Dwelling Place for adjacent property at 2080 Union Ave. SE, which already contains offices and affordable senior housing by Samaritas. Dwelling Place Regional Community Land Trust wants to build 47 condominiums for middle to low-income residents on an undeveloped 5.8-acre portion of the property.

The homes will each average 1,100 square feet and include a parking pad where owners can add garages later. Developers plan to add two streets to reach the community.

The proposed development layout would create courtyard-style living, with home entrances facing the center of the property.

Both requests will be presented jointly to planning commissioners after Bethany Christian Services and Dwelling Place agreed to work together to create a Planned Redevelopment District for the area bordered by Burton Street, Martin Avenue, Winchell Street and Union Avenue SE.

The planning commission was initially scheduled to take up the proposals during its Oct. 14 meeting, but a spokesperson for Bethany Christian Services tells News 8 the presentation has been rescheduled for Nov. 11.

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