|Ruth Park at 520 Wellington in Traverse City will offer 58 affordable apartment homes for general occupancy.|
Sept 9, 2021…Construction is now underway on a highly anticipated, high-quality new affordable community in downtown Traverse City, Michigan. The $14.3 million property called Ruth Park will provide 58 units with 1, 2, and 3-bedroom apartments for singles, families, and seniors who earn 30 to 80% of area median income. Developer Woda Cooper Companies, Inc. hosted a ceremonial Groundbreaking Sept 9, 2021.
Ruth Park required careful planning in site selection and preparation, architecture and design, and financing in order to develop a plan that achieved support from stakeholders and was successful in securing housing tax credits critical in developing the community.
“The City of Traverse City, with the Traverse City Housing Commission (TCHC) and Woda Cooper, is working hard to provide greatly needed affordable housing units in the urbanized core of the city,” said Traverse City Mayor Jim Carruthers. “What people need to understand is that this is not an easy task, especially with our hot real-estate investor market and the high cost of property in downtown Traverse City. Woda Cooper has been a good partner with the city at providing these needed affordable units.”
The apartments at Ruth Park will have open concept living spaces high-quality finishes, washer/dryer hookups, and kitchens with ENERGY STAR appliances, including dishwashers. Each unit will have a high efficiency HVAC system, among other energy saving features such as energy-efficient windows. The property will be certified LEED Silver by the US Green Building Council.
Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) provided affordable housing tax credits to support financing for the new development. “This is an innovative and exciting new project. We are pleased to partner with Woda Cooper again,” said Chad Benson, Director of Rental Development for MSHDA. “Ruth Park will provide affordable, accessible housing and amenities for families and individuals to have a home base in the heart of downtown Traverse City.”
Community spaces feature indoor and outdoor common areas including two community rooms, a 4th floor outdoor terrace overlooking the Boardman River, fitness room, laundry, management office, playground, and off-street parking. There are six units with features for those with disabilities and the entire property is visitable due to a central elevator.
“Ruth Park will offer an affordable housing option on the banks of the Boardman River in a downtown area that is experiencing renewal and reinvestment. Ruth Park is ideal for residents at a mix of incomes who are seeking appealing apartments within walking distance of all the great things downtown Traverse City offers,” said Craig Patterson, Woda Cooper Companies’ Senior Vice President – Development. “We appreciate the City of Traverse City’s leaders and the Traverse City Housing Commission who supported the vision and development of Ruth Park.”
TCHC’s Tony Lentych commented on the strong and unwavering vision required to develop Ruth Park. “The Traverse City Housing Commission congratulates the Woda-Cooper Companies on their construction launch for Ruth Park,” said Lentych who is Executive Director for TCHC. “We are grateful that they never abandoned their plan to build affordable housing in downtown Traverse City and they should be celebrated for their ability to navigate the ever-complicated world of affordable housing finance and development. THANK YOU!”
Equity financing is being provided by affordable housing investor Marble Cliff Capital. “On behalf of our investors in MCC Community Equity Fund 1, Marble Cliff Capital is very excited to be a part of this needed affordable family housing,” said John F. Kukura III, President of Marble Cliff Capital. “There is a lot of excitement and redevelopment in the 8th Avenue corridor and in partnership with Woda Cooper Companies, Ruth Park will be a valuable asset in the community for years. The design of the project will take advantage of the natural beauty that Traverse City has to offer while focusing on amenities that will benefit the residents. I am looking forward to seeing the project progress through construction to completion.”
Lender Bellwether Enterprise will provide the first mortgage. “We are proud to provide the first mortgage for Ruth Park which will provide 58 affordable, attractive, and energy-efficient apartment homes for residents in Traverse City where affordable housing is in great demand,” said Bob Morton, Sr. Vice President and Director of RHS Programs.
Independent Bank, based in Traverse City, contributed an essential construction loan. “Independent Bank is pleased to be able to partner with Woda Cooper Companies and Marble Cliff Capital to support this critical addition of affordable housing to the Traverse City community. Ruth Park will have a lasting positive impact on its residents and our community,” said David R. Boeve, Senior Vice President, Independent Bank.
Project architect was PCI Design Group, with civil engineering by Mansfield Land Use Consultants and sustainability consulting by Sol Consulting + Design. Woda Cooper Companies’ construction division is general contractor and the company’s management division will oversee leasing and day-to-day operations. For more information about Ruth Park, visit www.wodagroup.com or call 614-396-3200.