Wallick Communities, a full-service real estate, general contractor, and property management company out of Ohio, will begin construction on Hillsdale Senior Apartments in the Fall of 2020 if it is granted funding by Michigan State Housing Development Authority.
MSHDA sells tax-exempt notes and bonds and then loans the proceeds to private developers who use the money to build, own and operate low and moderate-income rental housing. Wallick Communities has applied for MSHDA funding and will receive an answer from the state in January 2020.
According to Joe Hall, development manager for Wallick Communities, the residence will be restricted to individuals who are 55 years of age and older and who earn below the median income for the area, which is $34,000.
Hall said Hillsdale Senior Apartments will be located on a five-acre wooded lot on Logan Street. The southern side of the property will connect residents to a walking trail.
The apartment complex will have 60 units, the majority of which will be one-bedroom apartments. The building will also have a laundry facility, elevator, fitness room, activity and community space, and a computer and business center.
The Hillsdale City Council granted a Payment in Lieu of Taxes approval to Hillsdale Senior Apartments but rejected the same exemption to a proposed 40-unit, rent-controlled apartment complex on West Street.
According to Councilman Greg Stuchell, the decision was influenced by the general opinion of the community, for many members of the West Street neighborhood voiced their opposition to having an apartment complex next to Davis Middle School.
For the Hillsdale Senior Apartments, the council narrowly approved the tax exemption in a 5 – 4 vote. Stuchell said the lack of information about the project may have prevented community members in opposition from attending the meeting and voicing their opinions. Stuchell, who voted against the project, said he wants to make sure the council is protecting Hillsdale’s best interests.
“My concern is what we really need as a community is not more apartment complexes, but a focus on single-family homes. If more people own their own homes, it will naturally lift the economic health of the community,” Stuchell said.
A 2017 Economic and Demographic Outlook Report by the Institute of Labor, Employment, and the Economy at the University of Michigan, predicts that by 2045 almost 23% of Michigan’s population will be over the age of 65.
Hillsdale Zoning Administrator Alan Beeker said the disproportionately large senior population is part of a phenomenon called “the missing middle.”
“Lots of the baby boomer generation are middle income, but don’t want single family homes,” Beeker said. “They want to be in a walkable distance of amenities. Hillsdale doesn’t have that, but the areas that do have it, that’s where people are moving to.”
Hall said Wallick Communities seeks to aid Hillsdale seniors looking for residence that’s easily maintained and allows them to still contribute to the greater Hillsdale community.
The project will create approximately 70 temporary construction jobs and two full-time positions. Wallick Construction will serve as the general contractor and the Ohio-based company RDL Architects will be building Hillsdale Senior Apartments.
If MSHDA approves funding for the project, construction will start in the fall of 2020, and the apartment should be open for tenants in the fall of 2021, according to Hall.
“In addition to expanding its presence in Michigan, Wallick views Hillsdale Senior Apartments as an opportunity to join Hillsdale’s outstanding, stable community and help fulfill its need for affordable senior housing,” Hall said.