IRON RIVER—The Michigan State Housing Development Authority has conditionally approved the rehabilitation of the former Central School into rental housing units to be known as the Apple Blossom Apartments.
Before final approval by MSHDA, the developer, Hovey Companies of DeWitt, must provide certain information, including a cost-per-unit estimate and some environmental information.
“This is a huge step in ensuring that this project can become a reality,” said Tim Hove, principal of the Hovey Companies, which has the option to purchase the property to redevelop it into affordable housing units for residents.
The Central School will provide 22 rental housing units. Plans are also under way to utilize the lower level for retail or commercial space.
Jim Gibula, chairman of the Iron River Downtown Development Authority, said the DDA has been working on this project for several years and is extremely pleased that this historic building can be preserved and rehabilitated into housing for the community.
“Historic buildings and sites are an important component of this region’s cultural heritage and represent our history and traditions,” he said.
“We’re also looking at developing the lower level into premiere retail space, and will work with potential businesses to accommodate their needs.”
Terry Tarsi, mayor of Iron River and a member of the DDA for many years, thanked all who have put the hard work and effort into the project.
“Much work behind the scenes has been ongoing, and it has paid a big dividend. This project is a lynchpin to the revitalization of the downtown.
It is hoped that once final approval is received from MSHDA, construction can begin yet this fall, with completion by the fall of 2013.
“We hope we can have closing in 90 days,” Gibula said.
“Approval will allow the developer to sell tax credits.”
Hovey Companies is using the same architect, Barry Polzin, as was used in the Crystal View Apartment project.
Some site plans can be viewed on the Iron River City website, ironriver.org, and the architect hopes to have floor plans developed in the near future.