State approves funding for new downtown Ludington building project.

July 12, 2016

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LUDINGTON — A proposal to redevelop properties on the west side of downtown Ludington has been approved for funding through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, (MSHDA).

LC Consultants of Ann Arbor has proposed building two four story buildings on the parcel that consists of West Ludington Avenue, West Loomis Street, South Rath Street and South Robert Street. Each building will contain first floor commercial space and 30 apartment units on the top three floors. The apartment units will be a combination of one and two bedrooms.  The building on Loomis Street is proposed as senior housing for people ages 55 and older. The Ludington Avenue building will be designated for family housing with no age restrictions.  Both buildings will offer subsidized rents and require residents to be below certain area medium income levels.  

“This project is the culmination of a lot of work between the city, county, private industry and the Foundation,” said Jeanne Oakes, executive director of the Foundation for Mason County. “We are excited to have received funding that will now carry the project to completion.  It’s a big win for downtown Ludington.”

“With current construction costs, subsidies are absolutely required to get a project built that has affordable rents,” said Heather Tykoski, Ludington community development director. “We need the workforce housing. In addition we will get thousands of square feet of affordable commercial space.  The combination of downtown housing and commercial space should add vibrancy to our downtown district.”

Part of the project includes razing the current fire station, located at the corner of Loomis and Robert streets, and relocating it to the former Lakeshore Lumber site on East Tinkham Avenue.

Bob Neal had assembled the block, which included a former bowling alley, over a number of years and had said he was hoping to do a commercial development.  In 2010 John and Anita Wilson purchased the former Napa auto parts building on the southwest corner of Ludington Avenue and Robert Street, and a vacant parcel behind Wesco to complete the parcel.  Bob and Kaye Neal and the Wilsons then donated all of the lands to The Community Foundation for Mason County and began working to bring a project to Ludington.  

“We’ve worked on numerous proposals over the years, trying to find a development that would cash flow,” John Wilson stated in a press release acquired by MCP. “Even with free land the combination of building costs and taxes on new construction make new developments very tough to do, we couldn’t make anything work.  Then we met Bob Jacobson of LC Consultants through a mutual connection at the Loomis Law Firm in Lansing.  Bob has been fantastic to work with.  He is experienced with MSHDA and the Low-Income Housing Tax Credits projects and is able to efficiently put a quality project together and bring the financing.  To finally see a $16 million dollar project built Downtown is a dream come true.”

Construction is expected to begin in early 2017.

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