Traverse City News and Events

60-Unit Apartment Complex Proposed Off Garfield

Oct. 16, 2015

A proposed 60-unit apartment complex could bring more rental housing to the city's core. TraverseConnect - the 501c4 nonprofit parent organization of the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce - and Venture North Funding & Development are behind the development, slated for a vacant lot on the west side of Garfield Road between Boyd and Hannah avenues. According to TraverseConnect CEO Doug Luciani, the plan is to build 60+ rental apartments on the 1.7 acre lot, with 40 percent of units set to be one-bedroom/one-bath and 60 percent set to be two-bedrooms/two-baths.

"The goal is to make the units, which are not being subsidized through any public funds or tax consideration, available for between approximately $750-$1,200 per month, which is considerably below 'market rate' in Traverse City's current housing market," says Luciani. "Situated where it is, it enables bicycle commutes, walkable access to necessary amenities, and will be built to accommodate an active lifestyle."

Chemical Bank owns the vacant lot and is prepared to sell it as a "bargain sale" for less than its appraised value to Venture North, according to Luciani. Venture North will then sell the parcel to Alpha Development, a for-profit LLC of which TraverseConnect is an equity partner. Alpha Development has already contracted to conduct an environmental assessment on the site and hopes to break ground on the project in spring 2016, with units possibly available as soon as fall 2016.

City commissioners will review the project Monday at 7pm at the Governmental Center. The city retained a right to repurchase a small parcel on the south end of the lot as part of the original quit-claim sale of the land to Northwestern Bank in 2002. Luciani is asking the city to waive its right to repurchase the parcel on the condition the developers begin construction within 18 months. If developers don't meet the 18-month timeframe, the city would retain its right to repurchase the parcel. The arrangement would keep "intact the city's original intent to see the property developed for the benefit of its citizens," says Luciani.

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