When $60,000 is on the table and available to downtown property owners, who renovate their upper levels into residential apartments, it definitely attracts attention.
Eighteen building owners and contractors attended the Rental Rehab orientation, held at City Hall earlier this month. Marilyn Smith, of Smith Housing, provided the briefing on the program that uses Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to support the development and rehabilitation of quality and affordable rental housing within the central business district.
"To get the ball rolling, after developing a rough floor plan and preliminary work estimates, interested property owners and their contractor will walk the upper level with Marilyn," Phillipson said. "Once they have an idea for a design and know a cost range for their project, a follow-up walk through with a representative from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) will be scheduled."
In the meantime, property owners will need to obtain preliminary architectural drawings, dated and detailed construction estimates, a letter from their bank indicating private funding for the project is available, as well as construction permits from the city. Phillipson said CDBG will fund 75 percent of the rehabilitation up to $60,000 per apartment.