GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Alger Heights community in Grand Rapids is an area that generates a great deal of pride among residents.
“I love our neighborhood so much,” Michal Getz said. “I think we live in best neighborhood in all of Michigan. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”
Plans to build dozens of affordable homes on Grand Rapids’ southeast side are drawing criticism from community members who say the project would cause several problems.
“We bought in this area for a reason,” Alger Heights resident Sam Granger said. “We liked how quiet it was, how walkable it was.”
Pinnacle Construction Group would develop 47 homes in a 5.8-acre plot of land it owns behind the Samaritas building on Burton Street SE.
Dwelling Place would assist in placing families in the homes. Potential homeowners would purchase the homes at 75% of the appraised value.
“On average about 1,100 square feet, 2- to 3-bedroom homes, two baths,” said David de Velder, the community land trust director at Dwelling Place. “They’ll have access from public streets in rear of home, and garages can be added by homeowner.”
Getz says the development would create several problems.
“The number of units, the new street accesses, I believe the entire nature of the neighborhood will change,” Getz said. “Bring down housing costs, increase traffic tremendously.”
Developers understand concerns neighbors may have, which is why they’re holding community events to inform them about the proposed change.
“What we’re trying to do now, is connect with community, neighbors, to let them know that we’re going to build quality, sustainable housing,” said Floyd Wilson, Jr., the chief development officer for Pinnacle Construction Group. “Want to match it to the community, so that everyone is proud of being there.”
Granger understands the importance of creating affordable housing but ultimately sees issues the plan.
“I see it as very ambitious, but very problematic,” Granger said. “There’s a lot of issues with density, losing green space, issues with how it affects the surrounding neighborhood.”
Pinnacle Construction Group and Dwelling Place will host another event to meet with neighborhood residents about the project on Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the site of the proposed development.