Affordable housing project not granted full $2.8M expected from state

HOLLAND — The state is funding about $800,000 of the $2.8 million it was expected to contribute in the form of a brownfield reimbursement for an affordable housing development at Kensington Place.

“It’s a bump in the road, but we’re working through it,” said Scott Geerlings of Geerlings Development Co., one of the developers on the project.

Holland City Council unanimously approved a $2.8 million brownfield reimbursement agreement on Feb. 6 for the construction of hundreds of apartment units at 2123 Sherwood Ave. and 1884 M-40. The state funding was expected to be approved through the state for $2.8 million to make the project affordable for tenants.

Geerlings said he is working with the development team, the City of Holland and Ottawa Housing Next to still carry out the project, and “make it an even better project for our community than it was prior to this,” Geerlings said.

It is important to note that the state has not backed out completely, Geerlings said, and is still providing some brownfield funds through the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for the project.

Brownfield status applies to properties where redevelopment or reuse is complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant. Metals were found at the property in concentrations exceeding Michigan Department of Environmental Quality cleanup criteria.

The site plan approved by Holland City Council will stay the same, with a similar timeline, Geerlings said. The site plan calls for 216 apartment units, and a new main street connecting to M-40. There are also plans to construct 114 units as a part of a separate senior housing apartment complex along the new M-40 connection and construct retail/commercial units with up to 22 residential units on the upper floor.

“Nothing is really changing, it’s a matter of how it’s being funded and keeping the affordability aspect,” Geerlings said.

The construction timeline could be delayed about a month while they re-evaluate the funding, he said, they still hope to start construction this spring.

— Contact reporter Kate Carlson at kcarlson@hollandsentinel.com and follow her on Twitter @SentinelKate.

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