Meridian Township, Michigan, June 28, 2023 – Woda Cooper Companies, Inc. hosted a Grand Opening and Ribbon-Cutting at the new 49-unit Woodward Way Apartments in Meridian Township. Representatives of Meridian Township and Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), along with financial partners, supporters, and residents, joined in the celebration. In addition, the festivities included Meals for Heroes to thank local first responders with a complimentary meal.
Woodward Way received strong support from Meridian Township who approved a Payment in Lieu of Taxes. “Meridian Township is excited to welcome new housing opportunities to Meridian Township, housing including units considered more affordable,” said Patricia Herring-Jackson, Township Supervisor. “We are also grateful to organizations like Woda Cooper for bringing this type of development to our community.”
Woodward Way is comprised of two contemporary styled two-story buildings. It offers eight one-bedroom, 34 two-bedroom, and seven three-bedroom apartments. Apartments feature spacious floor plans with plenty of storage, and modern kitchens with ENERGY STAR appliances, including dishwashers. The property is expected to be certified LEED Silver.
Apartments are designed with contemporary finishes, including quality cabinetry and luxury vinyl tile. There are five units with features for residents with physical and one for those with sight/hearing disabilities. Community amenities offer residents access to an onsite multipurpose room with kitchenette, laundry facility, playground, and a picnic area with tables and grills. Woodward Way also has onsite management and maintenance by Woda Management & Real Estate to assist residents who are now in the process of moving into the property.
Financing for the $13.9 million property was supported with federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits allocated by MSHDA through its competitive Qualified Allocation Plan to identify where expanded affordable housing is most needed in the state. MSHDA recognized the potential impact that Woodward Way would make in addressing a critical need for affordable housing in the Meridian Township community where rents are quickly rising. Eligible residents earn 30% to 80% of area median income with rents ranging from $391 per month to $1,175 per month, depending on income restriction and size of unit. In addition, eight units have attached rental assistance through Project Based Vouchers awarded by the Lansing Housing Commission.
“MSHDA is thrilled to be among the partners that helped make Woodward Way possible through the allocation of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits,” said MSHDA Executive Director Amy Hovey. “This investment represents our continued commitment to affordable housing and gets us closer to Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s goal of creating or preserving 75,000 housing units over five years. Woda Cooper Companies has been an instrumental partner as we work toward that objective.”
Craig Patterson, WCCI Senior Vice President – Development, said Woodward Way will be an ideal community that will fit needs for small families with children or households with one person, seniors, or those who are disabled. “Woodward Way provides sorely lacking energy-efficient quality housing for those who work in nearby jobs with moderate or lower incomes,” he said. “Many of our residents are those who in work in areas such as health care, education, hospitality, retail and other industries that are vital to the Meridian Township community.”
Financing syndicator MCC provided the equity financing by purchasing the tax credits. “Marble Cliff Capital is delighted to be a part of Woodward Way in Meridian Township which provides 49 new units of workforce housing that is in close proximity to many services, retail outlets, public schools, and employers such as the Michigan State University campus,” said Jack Kukura, President of MCC. “We congratulate everyone who is involved in this great new development.”
Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust provided a permanent 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’ Woodward Way in Meridian Township, MI,” said Timothy J White, Senior Vice President, Specialty Finance Group, Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust.
A construction loan was provided by FNBA. “First National Bank of America has long prided itself on opening home ownership doors for low to moderate income families, and we were thrilled to extend our lending philosophy to the Woodward Way community. It was a pleasure working with Woda Cooper Companies on this affordable housing project in a community we have served since 1955,” said Mike McCarthy, Vice President, Commercial Lending.
Architecture was performed by Hooker DeJong, Inc. Woda Construction, Inc., Woda Cooper Companies’ construction affiliate, was general contractor. For more information, call 517-927-4742 or visit www.wodagroup.com.
SIDEBAR: Meals for Heroes celebrates dedication of police, fire, and EMS responders
In conjunction with the Woodward Way event Marble Cliff Capital (MCC), First National Bank of America (FNBA), and Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust (CRBT), joined forces with Woda Cooper Companies, Inc. (WCCI) to recognize the area’s first responders at a special event called Meals for Heroes. The four sponsors invited Meridian Township police, fire, and EMS responders to enjoy a complimentary catered meal from Saddleback BBQ. The onsite luncheon was held after Woodward Way’s Grand Opening and Ribbon-cutting on June 28, 2023. Meals were also delivered to first responders during evening shifts at police and fire facilities.
MCC, the primary equity investor in Woodward Way, gladly lent its support for Meals for Heroes as a win-win opportunity. “This event will give Woodward Way residents, managers, and other stakeholders the important opportunity to meet police, EMS, and fire first responders face to face while also honoring their service and commitment to the community,” said Jack Kukura, President of MCC.
Woodward Way lender CRBT has been an enthusiastic supporter for past Meals for Heroes events that Woda Cooper has planned. They had this to say: “It is always an honor to join Woda Cooper to sponsor Meals for Heroes and thank local first responders who serve their communities 365 days a year,” said Timothy J. White, Senior Vice President, Specialty Finance Group.
Michigan-based bank FNBA provided the construction loan and was a secondary investor for Woodward Way and was eager to sponsor Meals for Heroes as well. “We recognize the outstanding effort put in by the hard-working men and women who serve as first responders in our community, and anytime we can say thank you we are all for it,” said Mike McCarthy, Vice President, Commercial Lending, for FNBA.
“We appreciate the tremendous service provided by first responders who protect the community day in and day out,” said Craig Patterson, Senior Vice President-Development, WCCI. “This is our small way to recognize the dedication and effort in protecting Meridian Township and keeping its residents safe.”
For more information about Meals for Heroes, contact email@example.com.
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 communities, senior communities, and single-family homes. The company was founded in 1990 and now has operations in 17 states and a portfolio of more than 300 communities and 15,000 units. Green building is standard with certifications including Passive House, Zero Energy Ready Homes, LEED, Enterprise Green, EarthCraft, and ENERGY STAR. Woda Cooper Companies has offices in Savannah, GA; Indianapolis, IN; Shelbyville, KY; Queenstown, MD; Mackinaw City, MI; Columbus, OH; and Norfolk, VA. Affordable Housing Finance magazine ranked Woda Cooper Companies 7th in nation among Developers and 21st among Owners in 2023.