Mix of retail, apartments OK’d for Boston Square redevelopment

Grand Rapids

A conceptual rendering shows the Boston Square Together F2 building from the proposed promenade in Grand Rapids.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The next piece of a plan to revitalize Grand Rapids’ Boston Square neighborhood has fallen into place.

On Thursday afternoon, the Grand Rapids Planning Commission unanimously approved the site plan for the second building in phase one of the Boston Square Together project.

(A site map shows phase 1 of the Boston Square Together project along Kalamazoo Avenue near Evergreen Street SE in Grand Rapids.)

The four-story F2 building will sit on an acre of land west of Kalamazoo Avenue, between Oakdale and Cottage Grove streets. The mixed-use building will include 5,300 square feet of street-level retail space topped with two cantilevered floors of apartments and a rooftop community room and open terrace.

(A site plan shows phase 1 of the Boston Square Together project along Kalamazoo Avenue near Evergreen Street SE in Grand Rapids.)

Amplify GR Executive Director Jonathan Ippel told commissioners 80% of the 57 apartments in F2 will be rent-restricted, with a focus on creating a mixed-income community within the family-oriented building. He said the team behind the project is focused in recruiting local and minority contractors for the build and local and minority business owners for the retail space.

(A conceptual rendering shows the Boston Square Together F2 building on Kalamazoo Avenue SE in Grand Rapids.)

Ippel said he thinks the amenities make the development stand out from other affordable housing options. He said he’s most excited about the community garden and playground included in the plans, which were created in collaboration with the community.

(A conceptual rendering shows the Boston Square Together F2 building from the proposed promenade in Grand Rapids.)

The Boston Square Together project will feature a public park, “Tot Lot,” and community hub building with an early learning center. All together, the nearly 9-acre redevelopment is expected to create 60,000 square feet for retail, up to 250 apartments and 20 townhomes.

(A conceptual rendering shows the residential main entry to the Boston Square Together F2 building on Kalamazoo Avenue SE in Grand Rapids.)

The planning commission approved the site plan for the F3 building late last year.

Ippel expects to apply for low-income housing tax credits in October. If all goes well with that process, construction on the F2 building would start next summer, with the entire project slated for completion in May 2023.

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