City Commission paves way for more housing in Creston neighborhood

Published on October 16, 2018

Photograph of the former Saint James Lutheran Church building at 445 Knapp St. NE

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The City Commission recently approved a brownfield plan amendment that will allow a developer to renovate a former church building and provide more housing opportunities in Grand Rapids’ Creston neighborhood.

111 Halo LLC plans to divide the former Saint James Lutheran Church building at 445 Knapp St. NE into five three-story apartments that feature loft bedrooms in the upper part of the sanctuary and bedrooms in the basement area. The $2.6 million project also includes the construction of a two-story building in the parking lot east of the church for nine rental housing units.

The proposed rents in the 76-year-old redeveloped church building range from $1,200 per month for one of the five one-bedroom units to $1,500 per month for one of the nine two-bedroom units. 

“This redevelopment project is significant,” said Kara Wood, the City’s managing director of economic development services. “It provides much-needed additional housing stock, revitalizes highly visible vacant land and converts the property into housing that can generate approximately $4,320 in new City income taxes annually.” 

The developer has worked with the Creston Neighborhood Association to identify public infrastructure improvements that are desired in the area. This includes improvements to the bus stop at the northwest corner of Knapp and Plainfield in coordination with the Interurban Transit Partnership, which operates The Rapid transportation system.