Sept 10, 2021…Renters who work from home often lack dedicated workspaces in their apartments and the pandemic has magnified the importance of designing housing for LIVE/WORK lifestyles. A new affordable community called Seven45 Stocking with LIVE/WORK options was showcased today at a Grand Opening and Ribbon-cutting hosted by developer Woda Cooper Companies, Inc.
The new $11 million Seven45 Stocking has 50 one, two, and three-bedroom apartment units. Three first-floor units offer an office suite or retail storefront attached to the living spaces.
The City of Grand Rapids provided critical support including a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT).
“These types of innovative developments address not just our housing crunch here in Grand Rapids but acknowledge the way the world is changing – including where and how we work,” said Mark Washington, Grand Rapids City Manager. “Seven45 Stocking is a unique concept – one that could prove to be the future as the way we live and work evolves – and I’m encouraged by the prospect of what it’s bringing to our community.”
The 50 units at Seven45 Stocking are available for resident households earning 30 to 80% of area median income. The apartments have open concept living spaces with large energy-efficient windows, high-quality finishes, washer/dryer hookups, and kitchens with ENERGY STAR appliances, including dishwashers. Each unit has a high efficiency HVAC system. The property was certified LEED Gold by the US Green Building Council.
The three LIVE/WORK were leased quickly to three aspiring entrepreneurs. One resident operates a beauty bar offering esthetician services, with other units occupied by entrepreneurs involved in digital marketing and business services.
“Seven45 Stocking replaced a vacant lot and building to create 50 new homes with three of them being live/work units that allow people to pursue their goals of building a business, Seven45,” said Annette Vandenberg, Executive Director of the West Grand Neighborhood Organization. “Further, Seven45 Stocking is walking distance to Stockbridge Elementary and located in the middle of the Stockbridge Business Corridor. Seven45 Stocking has spurred other businesses to improve their properties and a new restaurant has just opened down the street providing 30 new jobs in the area.”
MSHDA provided affordable housing tax credits to support financing for the new development.
“We are thrilled to partner with Woda Cooper Companies on Seven45 Stocking,”said Chad Benson, Director of Rental Development for MSHDA. “These sustainable and affordable units in the vibrant Westside neighborhood are a place to call home and a place to pursue opportunities and business ventures for residents of various income levels.”
Community spaces feature indoor and outdoor common areas such as a playground, park benches, fitness center, laundry, community room, and manager’s office. There are five units with features for those with disabilities and the entire property is visitable due to a central elevator. At street level, there is spacious green space and off-street parking.
“Seven45 Stocking offers an affordable housing option in the Westside Neighborhood which is experiencing gentrification. The community is ideal for residents at a mix of incomes seeking appealing lifestyle amenities and the option of a LIVE/WORK environment,” said Craig Patterson, Woda Cooper Companies’ Senior Vice President – Development. “We appreciate Grand Rapids’ leaders who supported the vision and development of Seven45 Stocking. We also are grateful to our local subcontractors who helped us deliver a high-quality building and on time!”
Equity financing for the new property was provided by affordable housing investor CREA, LLC. “Though the past year has been filled with hardships, we are incredibly proud to continue in our efforts to provide affordable homes to people across the country,” said Mike Boyle, SVP – Acquisitions. “With the development of Seven45 Stocking in Grand Rapids, MI, we have made even more progress in ensuring those from all walks of life achieve the comfort and opportunity that a new home provides.”
Lender Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust provided the first mortgage. “Supporting the development of new affordable housing options is critical in our mission as a lender supporting neighborhoods and communities. We are pleased to provide financial support to Woda Cooper Companies’ Seven45 Stocking in Grand Rapids, Michigan,” said Michael J. Goerdt, Vice President, Specialty Finance Group, Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust.
A construction loan from Wells Fargo helped make the development possible. “This building, and the many talented people who will live there, will add vibrancy and diversity to this neighborhood,” said Brandon Weber, Wells Fargo Community Lending and Investment. “Seven45 Stocking provides a much-needed housing option for Grand Rapids residents and we’re proud to help make this project possible.”
A special moment at the ribbon-cutting event was the dedication of a memorial tree in honor of the late Stanley J. Wisinski, a commercial realtor and civic leader who was instrumental in several West Michigan affordable developments including Seven45 Stocking. Mr. Wisinski was known as a hard-working; client focused and extremely honest broker in the multiple real estate transactions he closed. He was founding member of NAI Wisinski of West Michigan, where he was a partner and broker.
Project architect was PCI Design Group, with sustainability consulting by Sol Consulting + Design. Woda Cooper Companies’ construction division was general contractor and the company’s management division oversees leasing and day-to-day operations. For more information about Seven45 Stocking, visit www.wodagroup.com or call 614-396-3200.
About Woda Cooper Companies, Inc.
Woda Cooper Companies, Inc. and its affiliates specialize in the development, design, construction, and management of high-quality affordable multi-family apartments, senior communities, and single-family homes. The company marked 30 years in business May 2, 2020, with operations in 16 states and a portfolio of approximately 400 communities and 16,000 units. Green building is standard with certifications including Passive House, Zero Energy Ready Homes, LEED, Enterprise Green, EarthCraft, and ENERGY STAR. Woda Cooper has offices in Savannah, GA; Indianapolis, IN; Shelbyville, KY; Annapolis, MD; Mackinaw City, MI; Charlotte, NC; Columbus, OH; and Norfolk, VA. Affordable Housing Finance magazine ranked Woda Cooper Companies 10th in nation among Developers and 18th among Owners in 2021.