Oak Park complex to feature 64 townhome and ranch-style apartments, green space and a community center; construction slated to wrap up by fall 2020
Lighthouse broke ground today on Coolidge Place, our first new construction multifamily development since merging with South Oakland Shelter. Prior to the merger, Lighthouse had an extensive record of success with affordable housing development, constructing or rehabilitating more than 100 units in Pontiac.
The new $15-million project located west of Coolidge Highway just north of 8 Mile in Oak Park, will create 64 high-quality townhome and ranch-style apartments for lower-income working families hit hard by the shortage of affordable housing. Construction is expected to be complete by fall 2020.
Lighthouse representatives and community leaders, including Lighthouse CEO Ryan Hertz, Oak Park’s mayor Marian McClellan and others, gathered this morning for an official groundbreaking ceremony at the construction site.
“It is extremely difficult for low-income families to climb out of poverty when housing costs consume most of their income,” said Ryan Hertz, president and CEO of Lighthouse. “We hope Coolidge Place paves the way for more developments that help level the playing field in terms of equitable access to lower-cost, high-quality housing because everyone deserves a place to call home.”
Spero Housing Group, a Lathrup Village-based subsidiary of Lighthouse, teamed up with Detroit-based Southwest Solutions to develop the vacant 4.5-acre site. There is a critical need for affordable housing in Oakland County where 20,000 low-income households are rent burdened, paying more than 30% of their pre-tax income on rent, leaving very little to address their other basic needs.
“Southwest Housing Solutions (SWHS) is privileged to partner with Lighthouse on the Coolidge Place project,” said Timothy Thorland, executive director of Southwest Housing Solutions. “For SWHS, Coolidge Place represents the perfect intersection of employing our expertise to increase affordable housing options and supporting collegial organizations in expanding their impacts.”
Of the 64 rental units planned for Coolidge Place, 16, or 25%, will be designated for residents with special needs. The site will also include green space and a community center. Rent will range from $454 to $989 per month for one- to three-bedroom units. In order to qualify, residents need to be at or below 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI). For example, a one person household at 60% AMI cannot earn more than $29,830, a two person household cannot earn more than $34,080 and so on. The application process through property manager KMG Prestige Inc. will begin at a later date.
“Affordable housing is hard to find in Michigan. Working a full-time job no longer guarantees you will be able to afford a place to live,” said Oak Park Mayor Marian McClellan. “What you bring home from a minimum wage job will not pay for a one-bedroom apartment. This problem has reached crisis proportions nationally, but we are beginning to solve it in Oak Park.”
The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) reserved $1,361,400 in Low-Income Housing Tax Credits over 10 years for the Coolidge Place development, anticipated to provide roughly $12.5 million in equity toward the total $15-million project.
Fusco, Shaffer & Pappas Inc. is the architect on the project; O’Brien Construction Co. is serving as general contractor with Ethos Development Partners as the development consultant.