A pair of Garfield Township housing projects stalled by the lagging economy are back on track, the developer tells The Ticker.
Brookside Commons, a 72-unit apartment complex, is planned for the corner of Long Lake and Zimmerman roads.
The second project, built about three decades ago, is the Boardman Lake Apartments, a 112-unit complex that sits on the west side of the lake off of Veterans Drive.
Both are being developed by The Woda Group LLC, an Ohio-based organization with extensive experience in building and managing low-income housing projects, including Patterson Crossing in Frankfort.
Woda has applied for tax credits through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, which provides developers tax credits that they in turn sell to subsidize the cost of construction.
Garfield Township officials recently have provided Woda with a resolution of support, according to deputy planner Brian Vandenbrand. “Since the township had previously approved the project, it was pretty much a moot point,” he explains. “But it does enhance their application to MSHDA a bit.”
Both projects have already been granted a “payment in lieu of taxes” (PILOT) by the township. Instead of paying a millage rate based on the property’s assessed value, the developers would pay the township 4 percent of its gross rent receipts.
“We should know about the funding (for Brookside Commons) by Thanksgiving,” says Craig Patterson, senior VP of development for Woda. “It takes that long for MSHDA to sort through the applications.”
If the funding is approved by MSHDA, the Boardman Lake apartment renovation project could begin immediately, according to Patterson. The aging apartments are in need of updating.
“Boardman Lake Apartments is shovel ready,” he says. “The minute we get approval, we can go. Once funding is in place, we expect work to be fully complete by Dec. 2013.”
All of the apartments in the complex would be renovated, and a new community building would be built to provide a gathering place for residents. “We want to make a community there,” adds Patterson. “Those units were built in the early ’80s, and our tastes have changed since then.”
There also is a commercial project planned adjacent to Brookside Commons, but no details on it were available from its developer Scott Norris.
Founded in 1990, Woda owns and manages more than 160 properties with approximately 6,000 units in 11 states. The company has developed more than 6,000 units, largely for families and seniors, their target markets.